For the past few weeks, I have been commuting to work everyday. It isn’t as bad as my old commute but it is a 30 mile round trip and uses up a lot of my gas. The main reason I have been using so much gas is because I have to take one of the busiest highways in Phoenix everyday.I typically come to a complete stop at lease 10 times on the highway. Sometimes it is far worse than that and I end up taking side streets which adds even more miles to the trip. It is really racking up the mileage on my car, which is not helping me sell it. So I have decided to take the bus, and this is why:
1. The Route Runs Right By My Apartment/Work
I have done some research on the bus routes here, and I was happy to find an express route that comes right by my apartment. It literally comes at the end of the block, which is all of a 2 minute walk from my front door. From there, it runs to downtown Phoenix which is where I work. The stop downtown is within a short walking distance of where I work. So it may actually work out better than anticipated. I will have to get up earlier in the morning to make it on the bus, but this is a price I am willing to pay to save money. I will be getting home around 5:35, which really isn’t much later than if I drove. Even if I did leave around 4:45 to beat traffic.
2. The Bus Fares Are Cheap
I looked up the cost of using the express route, and it turns out it is no where near as much as I thought. For a measly $30 a month, I can have unlimited usage of the bus here in Phoenix. That is less than it costs me to fill up one tank in my car. My car gets 30 MPG easily, even better on the highway, but the bus is still far cheaper than using my car.
3. I Can Save A Ton on Gas
Prior to moving to my new apartment, I drove to work everyday and barely used any gas. But my new commute forces me to use almost a tank a week. This is far wasteful in my eyes, especially since I am driving by myself and not carpooling with anyone. I figure the gas prices alone will save me almost $200 a month, some pretty significant savings if you ask me. This money will be going to my “Escape From The Cube Farm Fund,” which will be introduced in an upcoming post.
4. I Can Save A Lot of Money on Parking
Where I currently work, the annual cost of parking is almost $1,000 dollars. This comes out to around $83 a month just to park my vehicle. By giving up my parking pass, I can save that much extra a month. Add this to the gas I am saving, and I am already around $280 a month in total savings. Not too shabby!
5. I Can Get Things Done On The Bus
On a normal commute, listening to the radio is about the only thing I can manage to get done. I have a manual transmission, which makes it even touger to multitask while sitting in rush hour traffic. Riding the bus, I can pretty much do anything I want. I can listen to music on my iPhone or bring my laptop and get some things done on that. Even better, I could eat breakfast or sleep the entire commute. This would make up for any sleep I lose from hopping on the bus. I think it would be much better riding on the bus, than driving myself.
6. Arizona Drivers Scare Me
I grew up in Wisconsin, and people seem to handle driving pretty well. Even in the dead of winter, people know how to keep up the flow of traffic. Here is Phoenix, it doesn’t work that way. I swear someone almost hits me everyday. If it isn’t someone almost blindsiding me, it is someone else going 45 MPH on a 65 MPH highway. I don’t understand it, which is why it scared me. Driving in a rainstorm reminded me of driving through a blizzard in the Midwest. People were slamming on their breaks, hitting each other, who knows what else…
I think this is going to turn out for the better, and I really hope it cuts back on my monthly expenses. As long as everything goes alright, I don’t see myself needing to drive to work anymore. Now if I could just sell my 2005 Chevy Cobalt SS…
Anyone Else Using Public Transportation?
Photo Credit: roland