I took the bus… and I liked it.
I left the house for my first bus adventure last week at 8:06 for an 8:27 pickup. To get there I have to walk around our neighborhood’s main road, which is a large circle. I think cutting straight through would save at least five minutes, but I’m having to do all this in a suit, which is a challenge at least for now.
I wasn’t exactly sure how to find the bus stop, but I did have a general idea. The stop ended up being right on the main road, which makes a lot of sense from a timely departure and arrival standpoint (wouldn’t want a bus weaving in and out of neighborhoods). An express bus, I guess!
Getting on board, the bus was empty. Eventually two other guys got on, so it didn’t quite end up being private limo service.
There are only about four stops between my neighborhood and the transit center. The transit center is reasonably convenient to my office (about an 8 minute walk with traffic signals), but there is a strangely disturbing visceral sensation as the bus drives close to my work then away from it to reach the transit center.
A gentleman pulled the stop request cord as we neared the transit center, and the driver actually stopped and let him off! It was an unlisted stop, but was an official location with a sign and a shelter and everything. Not sure if that means you can just request stops whenever you feel like it or if the driver was doing a particular solid for the rider.
Even with gas prices low, it still saves considerable money. I get to and from work for $1.50, which probably competes with gas. More importantly, it saves wear and tear. In particular, by doing this for just a few months, I undoubtedly am saving money on one oil change. I won’t replace my tires as I planned to do, since I’m not planning on driving my car much this winter. Most importantly, I will find that I don’t need to replace my car. Until I realized the bus was an option, I would have forked out 5-6 figures of cash for a new car, or else been very unpopular around the house getting early morning rides and pickups every day and ultimately forced into a car anyway. A new car leads to higher taxes, higher insurance, more depreciation, etc. etc. With a bus and worthless car backup, I feel I lave a long term sustainable plan.
The only thing awful about it is the loud commercials that blast out from time to time for Obamacare and Megabus. I need earplugs…
I can’t wait to contact my insurance company and lower the expected miles on my car by about 80%. Estimated mileage for insurance is a great way to stay honest about driving habits since it’s trackable, documented, and saves money while you’re at it!
Car freedom to me is a car in the garage that is not depreciating. In fact, I’m so depreciated my insurance company told me to drop collision because my car was worth less than the deductible. I can drive around if I want, but more importantly, I have solved the work-grocery store-home triangle without a personal vehicle. Freedom!