$135,000 raised for Detroit man who walks 34 km to and from work every day

More than US$100,000 (S$135,000) have been raised for James Robertson from Detroit, a man who walks 21 miles (33.8km) every day to and from work. -- PHOTO: GOFUNDME
More than US$100,000 (S$135,000) have been raised for James Robertson from Detroit, a man who walks 21 miles (33.8km) every day to and from work. -- PHOTO: GOFUNDME

More than US$100,000 (S$135,000) have been raised for a Detroit man who walks 21 miles (33.8km) every day to and from work.

James Robertson's story, published in the Detroit Free Press on Sunday, spurred a few crowdfunding campaigns.

Hundreds have offered to buy him a car, give him their own car, pay his insurance or chauffeur him daily, the US paper said in an update on Monday.

At least one campaign on gofundme.com has collected more than US$101,000 as of Tuesday morning.

Robertson began this grueling commute to his factory job a decade ago, when his 1988 Honda Accord broke down.

His story is particularly inspiring because he has never missed a day of work, according to his supervisor.

After bus services were repeatedly cut in Detroit, he has to walk through areas which no longer has any regular bus routes.

From Monday to Friday now, he takes a bus part of the way, then walks about 12.8km to work for his 2pm to 10pm shift.

For the trip home, he has to walk 21km because there are fewer buses running at night.

The entire commute now takes 10 1/2 hours, longer than his eight-hour shift at work.

He lives with his girlfriend in a house she inherited, and with his US$10.55 per hour wage, can neither afford to move or to get a car.

"I can't imagine not working," Robertson told the Detroit paper.

chuimin@sph.com.sg