Friday, September 4, 2015

Economics : Take the Bus work, to school, to Santa Barbara

I admit spending less than $2.34 a day to go to work, the gym, the grocery store, the movies, the beach, and even Gilroy Outlets seems like I shouldn't complain ..except there is still so many cars on the road!

To travel a full 1,304* square miles is great but to do it on public transit saves money a lot of money.

As a ZipCar aficionado I do see how much time and effort it takes to do tasks versus taking the bus.

In one day I spent over $25 in gas just to do errands and nearly 80 miles and it still took me as long as I would have taken a bus.
One thing I did notice in utilizing a car I became super INEFFICIENT meaning I would forget something and have to drive back and forth. Granted, I wasn't on VTA's schedule and yet if I was taking the bus I would have used my time more effectively.

Next, I was more than just annoyed with other drivers ...I was petrified. In a 3 ton bus you are basically giving up your privacy for your own sanity because other drivers are not going to learn to merge magically the day you decide to get out on the road.
Worse, what is the point of driving if you are going to look down at your phone the entire time.
Do not get me started on the drive thru at Starbucks ...I can perform heart surgery and do the President's taxes in the same amount of time it takes to sit in line at any drive thru...and I would do those taxes in Pen.

Whereas I might wait five minutes max at the Starbucks for my coffee and sit down and enjoy myself. I have watched cars snake around intersections and mall entrances to get into Starbucks...seriously park your car and go in or better yet drive two more blocks and you will find another Starbucks to go to.

But back to my Super Cheap Commute of $2.34 per DAY ...Per Day...a Full 24 hours and 1300 miles later my cost doesn't change but I do change my clothes and take a shower because 1300 miles stretches the entire Santa Clara County lines.

When I was looking to move to Santa Barbara my expense was $1.73 a day and the system was pretty snazzy covering 2,736 miles but most of that is Reagan Ranch ( not exactly) and considering another 1000 plus miles actually is water as in the Pacific Ocean I wouldn't mind taking the bus in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara is just as expensive to live in and yet it would cost me less to take a bus there than here in Oz.

Wait, did I drive to Santa Barbara? Nope I actually took Amtrak and it only cost me $51 to travel 278 miles that is with free wifi and more. Plus, remember I did not have to deal with the traffic as a driver which means I was seriously more calmer than others.

Yes, okay okay I do give up the perceived luxury of privacy which I do miss at times and Yes, a bus will break down and Customer Service isn't open and it is raining fire from the sky. ( okay maybe not the last one ).

But take in the average commute is 26 miles that usually takes ( and this isn't my stat either ) 45 minutes to do here in San Jose with gas costing about $3.45 a gallon and the average tank of gas holding 12 gallons ( or electric charge ) that means people are paying $3.17 a Day to go to work and this is not including any additional trips to the grocery store, to the school, to the movies or San Francisco.

I don't save a full dollar per se taking the bus but it is getting close ..wait what is that you say ? Time

Granted, figuring in the time for my commute well that is easy. I traveled 34 miles round trip for years at 45 minutes each way complete with construction delays and inflexible time schedules. Still only $2.34 a day but let's add in a about 50 cents for my time remember I am getting paid to show up to work. I am still saving about 30 cents a day.

Sure it is great to stay out past 10 o'clock on a weekday and yes, sometimes the constant stop and go induces a version of neck pain.
Oh yeah that ...that other thing...People and I do mean people from all walks of life will board a public transit bus and you may or may not have to deal with them.

Yet I am incredibly happy they are on the bus and not driving on the me on this.

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