Car or Bus?

in Automobile, Frugality, Green

Mass Transit?

That is one of the big questions I continue to have to ruminate on. Do I take a car or bus?

In my previous job, there really was no reason to take the bus because:

  • It took 4 times the time to take the bus as it did in a car
  • The Bus did not run often enough and did not cover the times I might need to come and go to work
  • Parking for my car was free

Variable Changes

With a new job the financial variables have changed and it now I might again look at the transit equation again:

  • Parking now costs money no matter where I put my car (varying costs but none are very cheap).Parking is free for me, but only if I managed to not get a parking ticket and it is much farther away
  • The amount of time to get to work by car is now only 1/2 the estimated bus time1/4 of the time, my office moved
  • The transit tax write off comes into the equation as wellunfortunately that is no longer part of the equation

To bus or not to bus, that will be the question, but for now I will drive.

Biking?

That is another interesting point to consider for this trip. Straight biking to work while excellent for the health can be is dangerous in traffic (some of the route has bike paths but not all of it), and I am not sure whether there are showers at work (I do sweat a great deal)there are showers at work, but biking in Ottawa is lethal. The electronic bike is an interesting idea I have been looking at, but whether I can recharge at work is another interesting question to think about.

Car Pooling?

I do know someone at my job who I might be able to car pool with, which might be an excellent choice as well. I have previously car pooled which works well if the people car pooling all work the same hours, which can be tricky, but the more interesting question is how do you arrange to compensate folks for car pools?

Car for Now

For now, thanks to the systemically flawed mass transit system in Ottawa, I will continue to drive, but if the Light Rail system starts functioning, I will revisit this decision.

{ 6 comments }

  • Neil December 26, 2009, 7:55 PM

    You bring up biking and then dismiss it based on false assumptions. All the research shows that biking isn’t as dangerous as people assume it is. An hour spent cycling is, on average, about 1/2 as likely to kill you as an hour driving. Though both are small enough as to be fairly negligible to anyone who takes reasonable precautions, and isn’t on the road most of the time (professional drivers, bike couriers, etc.)

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm

    Showers are a different issue. I just put on some fresh pit stick and throw some water on my face, then on with my day. That seems plenty adequate.

    Reply
  • Sean August 15, 2009, 6:52 AM

    At my work, we have an electronic bulletin board where people advertise for car-pooling with their hours, and where they’re coming from.

    Maybe there’s something similar at your new job to help find more people?

    Reply
  • CanadianInvestor August 14, 2009, 4:41 AM

    First, congrats on finding the job!
    One advantage for the bus is being able to read. If only the bus company could put in wireless Internet, ridership might go up too.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman August 14, 2009, 5:06 AM

      Some bus companies have done that as well, if OC Transpo did, I’d be taking the bus in a heartbeat.

      Reply
  • DAvid August 11, 2009, 9:34 AM

    Car pooling — Can you take it in turns, and balance the costs that way? Others I have known with a long commute purchased a car for that purpose, and split all the costs 4 ways. Or you could figure a per kilometer operating cost (say $0.50) and split that. This might be more than transit, BTW.

    DAvid

    Reply
  • Lender August 11, 2009, 6:39 AM

    You could always carpool on the days your shifts match and travel by bus on other days. On the days you do carpool, split the cost of fuel equally among yourselves. I follow this method, and so far it has worked very well for me.

    Reply

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