Tuesday, December 9, 2008

utilizing public transportation

the cost of petroleum is down, but does that mean you should stop thinking about conserving your gas and money?
i guess that depends on what kind of person you are.
chances are, if you are reading this blog, you are still looking to save money.

before i moved to my new city, i had never rode a city bus before.
i have lived in a couple other big cities, but never actually took the step to hop on a bus and ride it around town.
the real reason i started riding them here in spokane was because my car broke down and i had to get around town.
otherwise, i may have never experienced a bus ride before.

bus fare ranges from city to city, but i guarantee you that it's cheaper to ride the bus in your town/city than it is to pay for gasoline, car insurance, car tags, repairs, etc.
sure, most bus routes stop before 9 or 10 at night and have limited schedules on the weekend, but don't you think the savings would be so tremendous that you could go without driving your car for a bit?

i work downtown. i live only about a mile from my workplace, so i walk to work in the mornings (free!) and take the bus home ($1 fare) or walk back home.
if i were to drive my car downtown to work, it would cost me $6 to park my car for the day in a garage.
so, i save $5 a day by taking the bus. $5 times 5 days a week is $25 total savings for just one week. and that calculates up to $100 saved a month and $1200 a year!
that doesn't even include the savings in the cost of gasoline not used.
i bet you can think of better ways to save $1200, right?

however, i'm aware that not everyone has the same distance to travel to work or similar parking fees.
but, let's say that you have to drive 22 miles round trip to work, 5 days a week.
and if your vehicle only gets 22 mpg, you're spending a gallon of gas for work each day.
depending on the cost of gas, that could be a lot or little compared to bus fare.
since gas prices are down, it won't be quite as much.
let's just say, you're going to pay 1.75 per gallon.
that's $8.75 for 5 days of driving back and forth to work.
in my city, you can buy an unlimited use monthly bus pass for $33.
and if you only used the pass to go to and from work every day, it would cost you $1.64 a day, instead of the cost per gallon.
but it does add up.
and thank goodness gas prices are not $4.00 a gallon anymore, otherwise you'd save so much more money by taking the bus!

saving money is not the only good reason for taking the bus.
when you ride a bus instead of driving, you are helping the earth out too.
so if you needed another reason to start something new, there you have it.


of course, there are other transportation options as well.
if you live close enough to where you need to go, walking and cycling are also great alternatives.
it doesn't cost anything to use your own two legs to get somewhere.
you can buy a bicycle fairly cheap and get plenty of good use out of it.
and you'll help your health on top of saving the earth and $$$.
this is probably the best option of all.
but not everyone lives within walking or biking distance of work.

i'd like to end this post with a short video that i made of a bus ride i took a few months ago:


nate said...

i would totally ride the bus everywhere if i had you to dj my traveling soundtrack. you could follow me around with boombox.........or i guess i could just wear my ipod

ZombieKitteh said...

There isn't a bus route around us. We sorta live out in BFE. I drive by pastures and cows everyday. >_< So much trying to be green. Although ever since gas was 3.50-4.00 a gallon I have been really really limiting myself on the driving. Only going to take Andy to work and drop off a friend at school and pick them up. And even after the prices have dropped past 1.45 here, I still find myself becoming more and more of a homebody, still limiting myself. Even though now I have the option to take Sunday drives and roadtrips. Just doesn't happen anymore.

And @ Nate:
I would lol if I saw someone holding a boombox on their shoulder like it's the freakin' 80's.

na0 said...

nate - ... as long as i don't have to listen to abba. you know how i feel about that!

zombiekitteh- i miss taking road trips also. when the gas prices started to rise a while back, i stopped. and then when i could afford to drive, i just didn't want to anymore. it's too bad you don't have a bus route near you. :( but running most of your errands at once is a good way to save gas too! no last minute runs to the grocery store to pick up one can of green beans or anything.