— Four 10s —
Garry Young, manager of Idaho’s Scenic Byway program, only comes to work four days a week – but he’s still a full-time ITD employee.
Like a number of other transportation department employees, Young works four 10-hour shifts each week, saving time, money and gas. He is an example of how efficiently the governor’s suggested trip reduction plan can work.
Long commutes and four-day weeks aren’t new to Young, who works in the Division of Transportation Planning and Programming. Before moving to sparsely populated Owyhee County in 2001, he commuted four days a week from Kooskia, a one-way sojourn of about 240 miles. When he moved to a 1.5-acre farm next to Givens Hot Springs, he reverted to five eight-hour days because of administrative priorities.
But envisioned a day when he could return to a four-day schedule.
That came more than a year ago when he persuaded his supervisors at Headquarters that reduced driving would improve the environment and allow him more time at home and in his modest garden. Truly a win and a win.
Young eliminated 20 percent of his 92-mile daily commute by traveling to Boise four, rather than five times a week. With the price of fuel at $4, that represents a savings of about $10.51 per week or $547 annually. Just as important, he eliminates about 100 miles per week, 400 miles per month, and about 4,500 miles per year (considering vacation, holidays and sick leave).
He commutes in a Saturn Ion , a compact car that delivers about 36-miles per gallon. The route takes him on rural state highways until he hits Kuna, fills the tank at a local gas station, and joins heavier traffic volumes in the Treasure Valley.
His work day usually begins when he leaves the house at 5:30 a.m. Young arrives at ITD Headquarters before 7 a.m. and works to 5:30 p.m., with a brief break for lunch. That puts him home at about 6:30 p.m., depending on the congestion he encounters.
Young’s mid-week break from commuting usually comes on Wednesday, but he remains flexible and will take other days off as demands dictate.
That regimen gives him two “Saturdays” a week, which he relishes. But it also gives him two “Mondays” a week, with all the demands of returning to work after a day of unanswered phone calls, mounting e-mail and requests for Scenic Byway brochures.
Not one to leave work unfinished on his desk, Young tries to fill all of the information requests and complete his “to do” list before heading home on Tuesdays and Fridays. It’s not much different than preparing for a vacation or a holiday, he says.
“It’s never been a problem, either at work or at home once it becomes part of your program,” Young explains. “That’s the way it is.”