Regarding commute times generally - sometimes I think a bit too much of a fuss can be made of of them (again, my opinon, no doubt not as humble as it ought to be.)
I used to walk to school as a child, and regularly spent 40 mins a day doing so - and many of my friends walked 40 mins each way. No one thought this was in any way unreasonable.
Why is an hour and half walking worse for a child than the same time spent in a car or a bus? (economic and ecological issues aside.) On the bus they're likely to have other pupils with them - and might well in the car if any sort of car sharing is going on.
My older two travelled to GS on the bus for years, until Bucks withdrew the free bus passes - now we have a car sharing arrangement. Takes 40 mins to drive them in, at schools time (twice as long as when there's no traffic.)
I can't see that it does them any harm. And they used to do homework on the bus, I believe (usually on the way in, when it was due that day, but that's just boys for you...)
It can make meeting up with friends more difficult - especially when they're in opposite directions from the school - but they're supposed to be bright kids - they can come up with creative ideas.
Our car sharing combines with one parent's regular drive to work, so that ties in nicely too.
Commute time can be what you make it - walking, it's exercise, on other forms of transport (when you're not driving) you can read, chat, do homework, listen to language tuition, whatever. It doesn't have to be dead/wasted time.
As a commuter (3 hrs a day) it can be tedious, and expensive, and yes, I'd rather have my 20 min cycle to work back - but the reality is what it is - so if you have to commute, at least make it a positive experience, as best you can.
Anyway, dragging it back towards the general question, if you can make the travel work for you, it's not always as bad as some fear.