Are You Re-thinking Public Transportation?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by arminnie, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

    Aug 22, 2003
    I don't use buses here, but I did go look up where the route was. I would have to walk a few blocks and they don't run too often, but it is available. I am also not working full time.

    I've used public transportation a lot - maybe because I lived thru the shortages in the 70s. Sometimes it was not very convenient at all, but I did it anyway.

    1) I had a job downtown that was about a 7 minute drive. I walked 4 blocks (in heat, snow or rain) to catch a bus that took an hour to make the trip (zig zagged a lot) and then it got me to work about 15 minutes early - the next bus got me there 5 minutes late. Being 5 minutes late was not acceptable. I was poor and didn't have a car so this really was my only option.

    2)I lived very close to work (about 3 miles) but took the bus. I had to walk several blocks and in the winter literally had to wait in blizzards. The crowds on the bus were SO bad that sometimes I couldn't get off at my stop.

    3)I used a van pool in one city. They picked me up first at 6:15 and then had to pickup another 8 people (lots of zig zagging) and I got to work about fifteen minutes early so the rest of the passengers could get to another building and be on time for 7:30. If I'd driven my car and left at 6:15 I'd have been there in 20 minutes.

    4)I drove to a park and ride slot. It added at least 45 minutes to my commute.

    5)My last job I was only 2 miles away and often walked unless I needed to use my car at lunch for business or was ill.

    These were all in different cities.

    My car gets good gas mileage, and I'm not sure I would save any money on gas vs. the bus, but it would save energy.

    Have you thought about how much you are willing to sacrifice (time and convenience) to save energy or money?
  2. got2lovedisney

    got2lovedisney DIS Veteran

    Feb 9, 2004
    My boss just did some research and determined that taking the Tri-Rail/Metrorail option would add about 15 minutes to his commute. Cost difference? Rail pass is $80/monthly ($40 with the student discount). I would be picking him up/dropping him off from the Metrorail station which is sorta on the way so even if he gave me $40/month for the inconvenience, that's $120/month. He drives an F-150 62 miles r/t and he says he spends about $100/ he'd be saving about $380/month. Plus the savings of the tolls since he drives the Turnpike. That's a big chunk o' change!
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  4. manhattan

    manhattan DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2000
    As a former NYer I miss my public transportation :guilty:

    I started using a form of public transporation about 2 months ago. It is a van that picks up at a park and ride and takes us directly into Downtown Fort Lauderdale. Most of the riders are Broward County employees, but I really wished that this had been advertised more prominently and I could have been saving about $300 a month on gas!

    However, if this shuttle didn't exist, taking the bus would take me 2 hours (for a 40 minute commute) which case I would be driving to work.
  5. tinaluis

    tinaluis DIS Veteran

    Jul 14, 2000
    I've always taken public transportation because I work downtown and parking is VERY expensive ($18-$25 a day). Fortunately, Chicago has one of the best public transportation systems around (buses and trains) and you can get virtually anywhere in the City one way or another for $2.00 each way. In fact, we considered a move to Orlando and the lack of adequate public transportation was one of the reasons we decided to stay put.
  6. nuke

    nuke Life is Good

    Nov 18, 2001
    Yes. I work in the city and there is a train that runs downtown about a mile from my house. When I started my job I was taking the train but then got lazy and started driving. Parking cost me $215 a month. The train is $78 a month and then a bus to get me to my building is another $50 a month.
    Starting this past July I decided to ride the train again. I'm so glad I did. Not only am I saving the $75 or so on transportation but now I only fill up my car every two weeks instead of weekly.
  7. disneymom3

    disneymom3 <font color=green> I think I could adjust!! <br><f

    Mar 11, 2002
    Two to three days a week, DH is now taking public transportation. He can't take it the other days because it takes him twice as long to get home and I need him here earlier on nights I am teaching. Anyway, the route he takes is to take a bus (which in about two years will be a train--woohoo!!) into downtown Mpls. In downtown, he takes the lightrail train to the airport and at the airport is able to catch a bus to about 4 blocks from his work. He says he can't do this once winter sets in, but when we lived closer in and he worked in Mpls, he walked at least 6 blocks to the bus stop every single day because we only had one car and I took it to work in a suburb. The thing is that with gas at $3 per gallon, he spend about $12 per day roundtrip on gas alone. When you figure in the wear and tear factor, the $6.50 round trip fare is a major bargain! Saves us close to $80 a month just on gas if he takes the bus 3 times a week. As we say in our house, "That's a lot of Mickey bars!!"

    Arminnnie--I don't think even DH would have done some of those trips you pulled off, but I suppose if you don't have a car, you end up just being thankful that you have some way to get to work!
  8. Taja

    Taja DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2003
    Nope! Public transportation is practically non-existent where I live. I'm also self-employed, and a good deal of my work is in clients' offices all over the valley. There is no way I could begin to haul my client files, laptop, etc., between two or three locations in a day on a bus! Not to mention a very insecure park & ride parking area. My previous car was vandalized twice when parked there. :(
  9. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

    Nov 5, 2000
    Not really. I live in a suburb and it isn't all that convenient or reliable out here.

  10. crisi

    crisi DIS Veteran

    Feb 25, 2002
    I also lack decent public transportation. If I worked downtown, I could do it, but I live in the suburbs and work in the suburbs and suburban public transport is bad.

    I am thinking about telecommuting one day a week.

    I live about 28 miles from work. My husband works three miles from me. We could carpool, but right now we shift - him and hour early, me a little late - to keep the kids from spending all their time in childcare.
  11. minnieandme

    minnieandme <font color=deeppink>You can never have too much <

    Oct 24, 2003
    I started taking the bus to work and glad I did since the gas prices start going up. When I take into account how much for parking and filling up my car twice a week, I will save about $75 a month. Now when I fill up the car it would last about 2 weeks.
  12. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

    Aug 22, 2003
    I don't think I could pull those things off today. I've been spoiled by affluence.:sunny:
    But it does go to show what you can do when you HAVE to.

    Also when I lived in London - I took the tube, changed to a different line and then caught a train out to the suburbs. I then walked about 4 blocks to my office.

    My last job where I sometimes walked was in CA where the weather was great.

    My car only had 20,000 miles on it when it was five years old!
  13. oogieboogie

    oogieboogie <font color=darkgreen>If all else fails... reboot!

    Nov 2, 2003
    Since we only have one car, 90% of the time, DH will drop me off at work on his way to taking DS to school (I live 5 minutes from downtown/work, and DS's school is 5 mins from downtown too). Then he'll pick me up after work. 90% of the time this works out well for us. If I had another car, it wouldn't get much mileage use out of it and it would be sitting in the parking deck on most days. At this point in time we don't need a 2nd car.

    However, the other 10% of the time, I will take the bus. The bus stop is only one block away from our house, and it takes about 20 minutes for it to get downtown (right in front of my building). There are times when 5 o'clock rolls around and the kids are napping and DH has no way of picking me up, then I can just grab a bus home.
    It costs $1 one way to ride or $45/month, but I probably use average $5-10/month on bus fee.

    I would take the bus more often if the people riding the bus weren't so nasty. I've been on the bus when fights almost broke out, when drunks were on it spewing nasty epitaths, when the stenchiest, foulest smelling old hag came aboard and I almost lost the contents of my stomach. Then there's the bus stop downtown... ugh!
  14. calypso*a*go-go

    calypso*a*go-go <a href="" targ

    Dec 30, 2003
    I think this is the biggest problem with most public transportation systems. It is the only means of travel for some of the city's most unfortunate and it can be pretty scary at times. My DH has a 45-60 minute commute each way on top of working 12 hr. shifts, and has to cross over state lines to get to work. I wish we could find some way for him to use the bus/rail safely, without it adding even more time to his already looooong day.
  15. Savin4Disney

    Savin4Disney DIS Veteran

    Dec 4, 2004
    So I only take the bus! I pay 13.00 a week for a bus pass. I am not buying a car anytime soon.
  16. Littlemotherhaywood

    Littlemotherhaywood Mouseketeer

    Jun 15, 2005
    I actually called on Friday to see if there was a bus my dh could take to work and the lady informed me that they stopped running that route six months ago due to lack of interest. Boy was I bummed. Right now he's using car that gets good gas mileage, but I car I haul the kids in gets poor gas mileage. We considered him driving my car, but in the end I think it would still cost more. I don't know what we're going to do. What I'm really rethinking is how far I drive and where I go. No more needless trips and we're hosting playgroups here now, lol. The lady did say that a lot of people were calling in about that route and that it could be reopened if there's enough interest so maybe in the future. It would be forty bucks a month for a bus pass for dh.
  17. iNTeNSeBLue98

    iNTeNSeBLue98 DIS Veteran

    Jun 6, 2000
    Taking the bus to work is easy for me. The bus follows the same route I would, there are few stops between so it takes just as long as driving - about 10 minutes. With the new schedule I would have to arrive 30 minutes early or 30 minutes late, but I think I would be able to work an 8 hour day. (I think this route is tailored to accomodate our site's hours, which are many and varied) The ride home is longer, maybe 30 minutes if I board in front of work. It costs $1.70 one way, because it's in Zone 1. The cost per week would be $17.00 if I paid daily.

    If DH would take the bus, he would arrive about 15 minutes early. The nearest scheduled stop is three blocks past his employer. He could probably work a full 8 hour day and catch the bus at the scheduled stop in the afternoon, but it might take an hour to get home. His cost would be $14.50/week.

    We both have the option of catching the bus on the return trip, which might save 20-30 minutes ride time. Taking the bus daily would not save us money if we paid the daily fare, $126 for the month to ride M-F. Buying a monthly pass would save $40/month. It's just $39.00 for 31 days., $41.00 with zone, or $80/month for both of us. But the lack of convenience other than commuting to work doesn't make it worthwhile.

    I log about 10 miles one way, dropping DH off then taking myself to work M-F. DD's last school was along our route, so no extra expense was added for dropping her off. Her new school is the opposite direction, about 10 minutes in traffic as we learned last Thursday, and it's only a mile away from home. She'll walk as long as the weather is pleasant enough to do so, since she is not eligible for school transportation.

    We also take DD to therapy twice per week in another direction, go to the grocery store and usually travel somewhere on weekends, although those trips have been reduced in number. When I fill up it is typically about 10-gallons/week. With current gas prices I spend a little more than $30 a week. So long as we can spare a few more dollars for the gas tank, we'll continue to drive ourselves at our convenience.
  18. Free4Life11

    Free4Life11 DIS Cast Member<br><font color=red>I just have to

    Apr 26, 2002
    As I don't have a car, the buses are my main mode of transportation. Luckily both of my jobs are no more than 5 minutes from my apartment so I can ride my bike to them. I take the bus to stores. It can be a hassle at times but when I think of all the money that I don't have to spend on a car, I think it's worth it.

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