If you live in the D.C. area, the Office of Planning wants you to get paid up to $12,000 to avoid a car commute.
Wait, really? Car commuting costs a metric pantload in fuel and destroys your soul – isn't this like trying to pay someone not to slowly pummel themselves to death with Faberge eggs? But some folks are so wedded to their suburban lifestyles that they apparently need a further incentive to give it up — or they find city living so exorbitant that they can't afford to move. So D.C.'s Office of Planning has set aside $200,000 for bribing people to move closer to work.
It's not quite that simple, of course. First, your employer has to offer you money to move somewhere more convenient, closer to work, or closer to a Metro station. Only then will the city pay up — they'll match up to $6,000 of employer contribution. There's also the fact that, in a high-cost city like D.C., you may need to either have a very compressible family or dip into your savings. Moving from a suburban house to a city dwelling of comparable size would cost way more than $12,000 in rent, and that's just in the first year. But it's nice to see a city putting its — and your employer's — money where its mouth is in terms of reducing car travel, encouraging public transit, and building a thriving urban community.