Author Topic: How the heck should I get to work?  (Read 5693 times)

ScottEric

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How the heck should I get to work?
« on: February 13, 2014, 11:30:17 AM »
Ideally I'd bike it!  It's 10 miles uphill both ways though, so I can't really do it 5 days a week. 

So, does any one know how much the pre-tax savings are really worth if I buy a monthly pass at $189 (commuter rail), or at $70 (bus subway pass)? 

I did an online calculator based on my income of $70K, and it said I'd save $20 a month by buying a bus pass at $70 a month using pre-tax income.  Meaning the pass essentially costs me $50.  If I keep my expensive commuter rail pass, it's a $36 savings a month, making the pass really cost $153.

So, the question is does that sound like a realistic savings amount for buying with pre-tax income?   

Scott

PindyStache

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 11:35:57 AM »
By bicycle.

Enough said. Just start by biking the route on the weekend, seeing how long it takes you, and leaving wiggle room at first. You will get faster and in no time will be cutting minutes off the trip. My commute is 10 miles each way. It took me 55 min when I started and now the best time I ever recorded was 32 min (includes stop lights and everything else between work + home). 35-40 min is now the norm in clear weather.

MMM has said it very well on the blog. Even if it takes you a bit longer, going by bicycle will drastically improve your life in nearly every imaginable way.

TrMama

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 12:08:39 PM »
How on earth is it uphill both ways?

Get a road bike or hybrid and bike it. I'm with Pindy that biking has advantages that go way beyond saving money on commuting. My bike commute is 8mi each way. Although It's only uphill on the way home ;-)

Shor

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 12:16:40 PM »
If you bike it you are not only getting in your exercise while saving the planet,
but you will be my virtual, rock star, hero, space astronaut!

Your legs will turn in to gigantic, lumberjack, steel, super structures!
 
And your heart will become a super elastic hydro pump fueling your muscles with badass sauce!

Also, you can then add your biking miles in to our Biking Challenge! It's like a win-win-win!
You absolutely must bike it; for yourself if not for everyone else! :D

MPAVictoria

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 12:23:00 PM »
I don't blame you for not wanting to bike. I hate biking on busy streets. If you don't feel comfortable/safe doing it DON"T let anyone talk you into it.

How much time would you save taking the train vs the bus? Either one should be cheaper than driving, plus you can use the time to read, listen to music or catch up on emails.
/Be sure to talk to your Insurance company and see how much you can save on insurance by not commuting by car.

Eric

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 12:32:22 PM »
Bike!

You can definitely do it 5 days a week.  It will be hard at first, but you'll be used to it in no time.  And you'll get in great shape really fast.  Women will find you more attractive.  You'll have more confidence.  You'll get a raise.

CanuckExpat

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 12:43:21 PM »
If it's the hills, and slightly the distance that is daunting, having considered an electric bike?
Apparently, they are good for all ages: http://www.aarp.org/technology/innovations/info-04-2011/kill_the_hill.html
If you want, you can convert your existing bike.

jnik

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 10:21:00 AM »
Are you sure you can get the pass pre-tax? Your employer usually has to be in the loop for that.

I agree with the "bull" on uphill both ways. What would fare be if you took the bike one way every day and the bus back? Or the bus to work and ride home? (Assuming the bus has racks. Again, don't know where you are. If you aren't a peak-hour, peak-direction commuter, the train may also let you take the bike.) Would your fare add up to less than the cost of the pass? Would it be an incentive to work up to riding both ways?

CommonCents

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 10:34:32 AM »
Boston perchance?  Those sound like Boston prices.  We almost bought in zone 2, $189.

So remember the pre-tax benefit right now caps at $130, because Congress in it's infinite wisdom feels it is better to support gas-guzzling parking ($250 cap I think) than commuter passes.  They didn't renew an expiring program, although people think that they will do so.

In Mass, you can deduct the cost on your states taxes even if your employer doesn't take it out for you.

It doesn't need to be a one or the other option.  What about biking to the subway, or at least doing so until you get more used to biking/weather gets better?  Save $119 each month, a little less if you pay the daily commuter fee on crazy snowstorm days.

enigmaT120

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 03:30:50 PM »
How on earth is it uphill both ways?

Maybe like mine, he has a big ridge in the middle.  I still think it's worth doing, and he didn't say it wasn't safe.


yyc-phil

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 03:38:41 PM »
I'd just bike, especially if the area you live has decent winter weather. Here where I am, more than 2 miles is hellish but elsewhere, and as long as it is safe to bike, a well-prepared 45-minute commute each way is a very feasible commute with good physical and mental preparation and the right equipment.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2014, 03:49:33 PM »
Depending on your fitness level, 10 miles might be a stretch at first, depending on the uphill grade but within a month it will be no problem. Depends on how presentable you need to be/whether there are showers at your work or at a nearby (cheap) gym. You WILL sweat going up a grade. Otherwise, find a way to transit in but bike home.

There's quite a few threads on here about biking advice, but some basics:

-Hybrids rule. I love my Trek FX I picked up used after advice here. Even the stock tires have great grip in snow/slush. If we had more ice storms, I'd get studded tires, but it rides incredibly well - better than my old MTB.

-Resist the temptation to buy biking clothes for winter before experimenting. If you must buy something, Sierra Trading Post (with their regular e-mail 30% off sales) can't be beat for base layers, rain jackets, wool socks, etc.

Fireman

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2014, 04:06:52 PM »
And your heart will become a super elastic hydro pump fueling your muscles with badass sauce!

Don't forget to account for Starling's Law!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank%E2%80%93Starling_law_of_the_heart

Seriously though, my current commute is about 20-25 minutes and involves the dreaded I-95.  Additionally, I have to be prepared for 24 hours of work (extra uniforms and food for three meals) and be able to move from one station to another mid shift with all my gear.

Luckily though, I'm working on a side hustle that is within walking distance to my apartment!  If it goes well and I can make it full time, i'd consider making it my primary hustle!

jnik

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Re: How the heck should I get to work?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2014, 08:10:04 AM »
Boston perchance?  Those sound like Boston prices.  We almost bought in zone 2, $189.
Yeah, it sounded T to me as well, but I can't think of where would be Zone 2 and hilly (and also have direct bus service.) Roslindale maybe?

Anyhow...if we're guessing right, you can also contact MassBike for route help and I'll probably get your email ;)