"In Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Atul Ramayani, a computer analyst, boards Metro-North's increasingly crowded 7:10 express bound for Grand Central Terminal. In all, Mr. Ramayani's commute takes close to two hours, including the 20-minute drive to the station and a 10-minute walk from Grand Central before he clocks in for the day.
Priced out of an increasingly expensive real estate market in close-in areas like Westchester, Bergen and Nassau Counties, some workers are pushing their commutes up to the two-hour mark, and even beyond.
It is the price they are willing to pay to own the home of their dreams, said Alan E. Pisarski, the author of a series of books titled "Commuting in America" (the third is being published by the National Academy of Sciences' Transportation Research Board).
'In essence, what this group of commuters is doing," Mr. Pisarski explained, "is contributing to their house payment with travel time.'"