A job with an annual salary of 80,000 US dollars, or about 500,000 yuan, how much?
If you work in San Francisco/Silicon Valley and have a family to support, you probably live far away.
How far is it? Work every day... 6 hours.
This is the case with Sheila, an ordinary civil servant working in the CBD of San Francisco with an annual salary of $81,000.
"Di, Di Di", this is not Douyin, it is Sheila's alarm set at 2:15 in the morning. She wakes up so early every day, packs her housework first, and then prepares her own breakfast and lunch.
She lives in the town of Stockton, 130 kilometers from downtown San Francisco. To go to work every day, she needs to drive seven minutes to the train station and then take the 4:20 morning Altamont Express train.
Although it was very early, there were a lot of people driving the car like her.
Most of these people, like Sheila, do not earn much. And most of their occupations are for the Silicon Valley code farmers.
For example: those who cook for farmers, those who look at the company door for farmers, those who repair cars for farmers, etc.
An hour later, the train arrived at Latest Mailing Database Pleasanton Station, just as it was getting dark. But this is only the intermission of her journey. Next, she needs to take the bus and go to the subway station.
The San Francisco Greater Bay Area is an important urban agglomeration in northern California. It is named "Bay Area" because of a bay deep inland; the famous San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas are located here.
The subway system in the Bay Area is called BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), and it spreads from downtown San Francisco to the entire Bay Area. Although a round trip will cost close to 15 dollars, but as a municipal welfare, like the Beijing subway, he has always claimed to be running at a loss.
Pleasanton is the start of the Blue Line, and when Sheila arrives at the station, it's almost deserted. This is also one of the reasons why she wakes up early - after all, she is old, and if there is a morning rush at seven or eight o'clock, it will not be able to crowd out young people.
Unlike on the train at 4 o'clock, everyone fell asleep. On the subway after 6 o'clock, people gradually woke up and played with their mobile phones.
At 7 o'clock in the morning, Sheila finally arrived at her destination, the Civic Center subway station in San Francisco. What greeted her was 8 hours of intense work a day, and another 3 hours to go home.
Commuting, can only kill 10 million Beijing youth?
On the other side of the ocean in the United States, it can still kill.
The San Francisco Bay Area to the west and New York to the east are like Beijing to the north and Shanghai to the south.
One is Wangjing Silicon Valley, where plaid shirt farmers are everywhere, and the other is Lujiazui, Wall Street, where financial men in suits crowd the subway. As soon as the young people from the two countries graduated, they all flocked here in a fascination.
However, when they came here to chase their dreams, they didn't get excited for a long time, and then they found out: "Huh? It seems that the time spent on the way to work is a bit long."
According to the United States Census Bureau, people who spend 90 minutes one-way to work are considered "extreme commuting".
And a large part of it comes from Silicon Valley and New York - my colleagues, and many others, are close to or meet this standard.
So what's causing Silicon Valley's commute conundrum?
Let’s take a look at the housing prices in the entire San Francisco Greater Bay Area. In the picture below, the darker the color, the higher the housing price.
In downtown San Francisco, where Sheila works, the median house price last year was $1.2 million, while in Stockton, where she lives, it was only $260,000, a full five times the difference.
The darkest part of the picture, except for downtown San Francisco, is Silicon Valley in the traditional sense, where a large number of job opportunities gather.
Prices are clearly directly linked to the location of the company.
In the center of San Francisco, there are star startups Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest, etc.; while the Silicon Valley in the South Bay is home to Facebook, Google, Apple and other large technology companies.
If you want to live close to the company and have short working hours, then you have to endure high housing prices.
If you can’t stand the high housing prices in the South Bay area in the hinterland of Silicon Valley, you can also consider crossing the bay and living in Fremont in the east, where housing prices are 20-30% cheaper.
Of course, you can also choose to continue eastward and move closer to the inland. Then you need to climb over a big mountain and live in Pleasanton, which is where Sheila changes to the subway above.
For the same price, in the heart of Silicon Valley, you can only live in a small apartment, while in Pleasanton, it is a large villa with a swimming pool. It's just that the climate here is different from that of Silicon Valley.
Of course it will be cheaper to continue east, but there is a voice that continues to echo in the back of Silicon Valley coders: no more east.
It's the enchantment - someone whispered.
In addition to high housing prices, traffic congestion is also a major factor in the long commute time.
Because public transportation is underdeveloped, driving or taking a shuttle is almost the only option. The highway has become the most important transportation lifeline in the Silicon Valley area.
101, 237, 85, 880, 280 these highway codes are like a nightmare, haunting every Silicon Valley person's mind. Every time I hear these numbers, everyone will feel panicked.
It's not just the road that is blocked, but also the heart.
"My income is already in the top 1% in the United States, and it's only like this!" It is the pain in the heart of every Silicon Valley code farmer. As promised, go out and drive a sports car every day, you can have a car, but you run for Lao Tzu.
So there was a stubborn code farmer who decided to live in the car.
Brandon, a Google programmer who moved to the Bay Area from Massachusetts, is one such example. As soon as he graduated from Silicon Valley, he bought himself a car, but it was a truck...