Thursday, January 6, 2011

Round, Round, Get Around...

I get around... Get around OOOOEEEEOOOOOooooo....

Yeah, the Beach Boys don't really come out on the screen the way they do on the radio. Oh well.

I was thinking yesterday how much my cost of transportation is about to change. I've been making the shift over to public transit for about 8 months now. I've stopped relying on my car so much, and have started looking at the bus as my main mode of transportation. January last year I would have driven my car to work, parked at the office, and then drived to where ever I felt like going after work (usually not cheap.) After the stark realization of how much this was costing me, I bought a bus pass and started taking the bus to work. Much cheaper!

After talking to a couple coworkers, I found out our company had a (poorly advertised) bus pass subsidy program, where they pay for 25% of your pass if you sign up for at least 6 months. I signed up faster than they could point to the dotted line! That meant I had my pass delivered to the office 2 weeks in advance, rather than trying to find a place that still had some left the last day of the month. Very convenient.

Fast forward to this month and I now have a student bus pass, which is leaps and bounds cheaper than any of the aforementioned options. Work is supporting me in a decision to take some more classes, and is paying for them as well. The bus pass is actually included in the course fees, but for the purpose of this post I'll pretend they aren't and I'm paying for it seperately.

January 2010 - Monthly Cost of Driving
Car Payment: $400
Car Insurance: $95
Fuel: ~$80
Maintenance: ~$40
Tires: ~$40
Downtown Parking: $230
Total: $885.00

January 2011 - Monthly Cost of Taking Bus
University Pass: $22.50
Car Payment: $400
Car Insurance: $110
Fuel: ~$25
Maintenance: ~$40
Tires: ~$20
Total: $617.50

May 2011 - Monthly Cost of Taking Bus
Subsidized Bus Pass: $61.13
Possible Cab Rides: ~$40
Total: $101.13

My only hesitation with switching back to public transit was the limited access to my house in the evenings. As far as I knew the last bus left the transit center at 9:45, meaning I had to leave downtown at 8:45 to get there. Kind of a wet blanket when you want to go out for the evening, even just going to a movie would have been difficult! I did a little digging and found out there is a different bus which leaves the transit center at 10:30 and 11:30 in the evenings, meaning I can still get home after visiting friends. After seeing that, I'm much more gung ho about selling my car!

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Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability
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FB @ said...

I'd have signed up ASAP seeing that 25% discount :)

I wish I lived in one city with major transportation like Toronto.... I'd totally stay on public transportation.

Louise said...

oh that sounds great! I'd use public transport if I was in a city with a good system too, it saves a lot of money, and the 25% subsidy makes it even better!

Cassie said...

I agree with both of you! Our transportation system isn't quite up to snuff yet, but the city is working on improving it. Taking the bus is better for me (I get more time to read blogs), better for the environment, and most of all it's better for my financial bottom line! I can't argue with that!