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Studies Find Long Commutes Make People More Unhappy

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Anyone who's wasted away hours of their life in traffic on the Capital Beltway can relate to this: psychologists say the activity that takes away from our daily happiness more than any other is commuting.

Long commutes are stressful, make us fatter and harm our marriages. A slew of recent studies detail the negative consequences. According to the blog "Priceonomics," all the time traveling back and forth to work takes away time from things that would actually make us happier, like spending time with our families.

"People are not actually making what we call rational decisions about it," says Rachel Weinberger, a transportation consultant and the co-author of Auto Motives: Understanding Car Use Behavior.

What she means by "rational decisions" is some commuters value the short-term benefits of a long car commute — such as being able to own a larger house in the country — more than the long-term consequences, like poor heath and stress.

So what this really points to is a lack of housing variety closer in.

Research by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has found that D.C. area commuters want options to driving — like better rail and bus service.


Cult Survivor Documents 2 Decades Inside 'Holy Hell'

Will Allen directed the documentary Holy Hell, which depicts his experience as a videographer and member of The Buddhafield cult. Allen used his own footage, as well as his interviews with other former members, to make this documentary.

Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - May 27, 2016

Congress votes to override DC's 2013 ballot initiative on budget autonomy. Virginia governor faces a federal investigation over international finance and lobbying rules. And DC, Maryland and Virginia move to create a Metro safety oversight panel.


After Departure Of Uber, Lyft In Austin, New Companies Enter The Void

Earlier this month, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected an effort to overturn the city's rules for ride-hailing companies. Uber and Lyft tried to prevent fingerprinting of their drivers, and now both have left town. A few other ride-share companies have popped up to help fill the void. NPR explores how people are getting around town without Uber and Lyft.

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