Author Topic: Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?  (Read 1372 times)

merlin7676

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Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?
« on: February 01, 2018, 08:52:52 AM »
Wanted to get some opinions on my DH and our new situation.

Previously my DH would drive to work as the public transportation to his job wasn't the easiest. With only having one car, I would usually take the bus to my work. Which in reality means 2 buses to work and an hour door to door.  Coming home from work is 2 buses and a short light rail ride and 1 1/2- 1 3/4 hours door to door. Pass is $99 a month.
If I drive, it's 20-ish minutes to work and 30 mins home from work.

Now with the DH new job he can hop on the light rail and be at work 1 block away in 2 stops. And they subsidize his pass so he only pays something like $18 a month.

Which means I can either start driving now or continue to take the bus and then the car sits in the garage.  Technically I know it's not just the cost of gas, it's also miles, wear and tear, potential for getting into an accident, ect.
But that being said, even driving every day I wouldn't spend $99 for gas for the month and I'm not sure how I'd go about calculating the miles and wear and tear into actual dollars a month.
Plus it's a huge time saver of course.

Getting rid of the car completely is not an option. We do have some engagements, errands, ect that require we do have the one car. And we did buy it used and will drive it "into the ground".

So it is still worth shelling out the $99 and spend all the time taking public transportation to/from work or to start driving?  I could also do both..drive part time and take the bus part time. (pay bus as I go and not buy pass).
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 09:12:14 AM by merlin7676 »

Sibley

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Re: Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2018, 09:04:42 AM »
What's the driving commute like? I can drive to work faster than take the train, and I take the train. The traffic, stress, etc really not worth saving 15 minutes. Also, factor in parking costs.

rubybeth

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Re: Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2018, 09:04:54 AM »
You could use something easy like this calculator: http://www.commutesolutions.com/commute-cost-calculator/

If it were me, I'd probably just drive the car if it would save that much time. Time is valuable, too. But if you're able to do other things while on the bus (email, read, pay bills online, etc.) then maybe it's not so much lost time as time that you'd have to spend somewhere else to do the same things. A bus ride can also be less stressful than driving since someone else has to be alert/aware and you can kind of zone out, listen to podcasts, etc.

omachi

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Re: Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2018, 09:27:35 AM »
I wouldn't commute for 2.5 hours each day if there were any way in the world to avoid it. Even in the initial situation you describe, I'd have had spouse dropping me off at work, a park and ride, or some other place that made the commute tolerable. 2.5 hours is just too much.

By contrast, my car commute is 15 minutes each way, while my walk and bus commute is 35 minutes each way. 20 minutes of that is the walking (which I love, even in the cold), there's no stress in traffic with the bus, and work completely subsidizes my bus pass, so I do that.

Assuming your commute isn't horribly long distance-wise, you'll probably be doing similar amounts of maintenance on the car. Depreciation probably goes a little, but not much faster. So your choice is really between transit costs and gas plus car depreciation costs, and if transit is cheaper, weighing the cost to you of spending 2.5 hours against .83 hours.

smoghat

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Re: Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2018, 10:55:35 AM »
Funny to hear about driving vs bus being stressful. I found driving to be much less stressful than taking the bus. Is he going to get here? Will he be full? Half the time it was too warm and I fell asleep. The other half the time people were chatting loudly and driving me crazy!

In the end, I wound up driving in (it took less time), finding the nearest free spot, then popping a folding bike out of my trunk and riding it a mile to work. Cost me less than the bus too! And I'd listen to news shows on the radio, thus saving myself time I'd otherwise spend reading.

omachi

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Re: Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2018, 11:34:20 AM »
Funny to hear about driving vs bus being stressful. I found driving to be much less stressful than taking the bus. Is he going to get here? Will he be full? Half the time it was too warm and I fell asleep. The other half the time people were chatting loudly and driving me crazy!

Express commuter bus from the suburbs vs. local city bus makes a lot of difference. Bus is practically empty and almost always precisely on time for pick-up in the morning. Bus is then full and goes directly downtown, generally not picking anybody else up while dropping people off. And on the highway portion, the bus can take the shoulder if traffic backs up, making it faster than driving yourself. Almost always quiet, unlike local buses.

The opposite is true going home, often 2-5 minutes late, bus may be full and I get to stand (who cares after sitting at a desk all day?), pick up more people before getting out of the city. But it's not really a big deal. Beats dealing with idiots that have no idea how to merge.

rubybeth

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Re: Need opinions on driving vs. public commuting?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 09:42:27 AM »
Funny to hear about driving vs bus being stressful. I found driving to be much less stressful than taking the bus. Is he going to get here? Will he be full? Half the time it was too warm and I fell asleep. The other half the time people were chatting loudly and driving me crazy!

Express commuter bus from the suburbs vs. local city bus makes a lot of difference. Bus is practically empty and almost always precisely on time for pick-up in the morning. Bus is then full and goes directly downtown, generally not picking anybody else up while dropping people off. And on the highway portion, the bus can take the shoulder if traffic backs up, making it faster than driving yourself. Almost always quiet, unlike local buses.

The opposite is true going home, often 2-5 minutes late, bus may be full and I get to stand (who cares after sitting at a desk all day?), pick up more people before getting out of the city. But it's not really a big deal. Beats dealing with idiots that have no idea how to merge.

Yeah, if you're like me and Omachi and live in Minnesota where snow/ice are considerations, having someone else drive and navigate all of that is less stressful.