Meet Virginia man Thurmond Alford: A father and husband who commutes seven hours every weekday to work so he can stay close to his family.
Each weekday Alford travels a total of 220 miles, passing through three major cities and crossing three large rivers to get to work alone. Because Alford lives in Virgina’s Chesterfield County, but works in Washington D.C., his commute one way each day is 3 ½ hours. However, when Alford was offered his dream job in 2002 at the U.S. Department of Justice, he couldn’t say no – in order to keep his family and loved ones close, he decided to commit to the commute.
Alford estimated that he has put 27,000 miles on his 2014 Mazda 6 in just seven months, spends almost $45 in gas every three days and has a $70 oil change every two weeks. His mechanic, who knows Alford’s first name and football team, also performs a $40 tire rotation every month to keep the car in good shape.
But, Alford only uses his car for half the commute. He joins the commuter lot in Garrisonville, Virginia, and continues his journey to D.C. From there, he takes two trains and walks a couple blocks to work.
“Everybody has a monkey on their back – an issue they have to deal with,” Alford told WTVR. “My issue is my commute, and I accept it.”
Though his time in the car might seem boring, Alford has said the he usually spends his time efficiently.
“I do a lot of things while I’m driving. I listen to books on tape. I call people,” Alford told Richmond Biz Sense. “I am pretty productive on my commute.”
When asked why he doesn't move closer to work, Alford explains to Richmond Biz Sense: "I was born and raised in Richmond. I love Richmond."
Aside from time management and a positive attitude, Alford recommended that commuters always have maps, family members’ telephone numbers, a spare train ticket, water, a first-aid kit and a change of clothes.