Saturday, April 26, 2008

How much does your commute cost?

So riding the bus to work has been an initiative for me since last year when I first attempted the idea. I had since stopped riding the bus due in part to the inclemate weather at the time and my friend was getting ready to have a baby - didn't want to be stuck on a bus if she called me needing a ride to the hospital.

Have recently started the idea again after gas prices have soared to $3.40 and the weather has gotten nice enough to walk or block or two to the bus stop.

I am slowly getting more and more used to the bus, its route, where the stops are, etc.

But yesterday, I experienced a first - I got left while standing at the bus stop. I was standing with three other people who were waiting for a different bus. I saw mine approach and as it pulled up I started unzipping my purse to get my money out - I managed to pull out a dollar and the bus zoomed away. It never did make a complete stop - didn't even give me time to make a step foward - just drove off leaving me standing in shocked silence in midstep to the street.

Not a happy camper I must say. Oh, I was crying and having an awful time - even hung up on my husband after I told him what happened. Thankfully, the bus runs every 15 minutes in the evening so I didn't have long to wait for another. Ended up making it home within a half an hour and with no other awful occurrences.

One thing I have noticed is how long people ride the bus - some shockingly get on - pay their $1.50 and get off 2 blocks later - that dumbfounds me. Maybe if it was extremely hot or cold out - but two blocks - come on you can walk that! But at least they are riding the bus and not driving their own car that distance I guess. It just surprises me. I ride the bus about 18 miles from the stop in Greenwood to Downtown - 35 miles total - there and back.

Riding the bus costs me $1.50 a ride or $3 a day to go to work and back. Not too shabby.

My commute when I drive costs me $18.22 a day according to the Central Indiana Commuter Services Commuter Cost Calculator. I know I fill up every 4 days or so and with a 10 gallon tank that cost me well in $30 a week. Yuck. Riding the bus is a great way to cut down on the stress I experience driving in rush hour traffic and also saves me money in gas and saves my car from wear and tear.

And so far, for the most part, the bus has been a pleasant experience. Nice people ride the bus, most drivers are nice (though the one who left me may not be) - the bus is clean - and the route goes ahead of schedule.

If anyone is thinking about trying the bus - one word of advice - be at the bus stop well ahead of time at least 10 minutes ahead - they pull away quickly and sometimes don't stop at all if you are not near the sign or quick on your toes apparently.

I keep waiting to hear about the ICE route that has been in the works for Greenwood - I hope we get it!

How does it cost you to commute? Click here to visit the CICS website to use the Commuter Cost Calculator.


Nadine said...

Do you ride just the one bus each way? If I were to take a bus I'd have to change downtown, which is a major deterrent for me. I couldn't do it right now anyway, with school and student teaching, etc., but it is still worth thinking about.

billco said...

up with some measure of inconvenience to keep my car at home. Would have even before the recent surge in gas prices.

I lived in Germany for 2 1/2 years while I was in the military and didn't have a car. Walked a lot. Missed some buses. Got stranded at 2 A.M. Actually took the bus to get married. Nice memories.

tina said...

Glad to hear folks still ride the bus. Where I live it is rural, no choice but drive.

prairievisiondesign : handmade said...

that is AWESOME that you do this - it takes individuals, one at a time, going against the grain to make change

SuzyQ said...

Nadine - I do ride just one bus each way. If I wanted to make it up to Carmel instead of to downtown Indianapolis I would have to switch buses. Yeah, it would make me nervous to have two buses to catch instead of just one. :)

billco - So far my experiences with the bus hasn't been too bad - haven't gotten stuck out in the rain or stranded at 2 am or anything - thankfully!

tina - I live in a fairly rural area - but we are borderline suburban it is kinda odd but I like it. :) Where I grew up it was definitely rural - no bus option there at all.

prairievision - Thank you! I need more encouragement so I greatly appreciate your nice comment! At work I am often met with weird looks and an exasperated "why?!" when I tell them I ride the bus.

Rosemarie said...

That's horrible! I don't blame you crying. I take the train to work and my monthly pass is $116. The one time I missed my train, the conductor actually closed the door in my face and then waved at me. I checked my clock and it was 1 minute ahead of schedule. I had to wait a 1/2 hour for the next one.

Electronic Goose said...

I completely agree about those people who waste their money (and pollute!) to ride two blocks! I can't help but shake my head in wonder at them.