Monday, November 14, 2011

Is The Bus Pass Worth It?

So tonight, as I exited my second and final bus, preparing for the short (four blocks) walk to my house I found myself thinking "that bus pass is totally worth it". It's not a cheap investment, the monthly regional pass that allows me to ride anything, anytime, anywhere, but most importantly, the expensive bus out to the airport for work. It's $176. $176 for ONE MONTH. Still, in the short time I have had it there are some definite benefits.

Take exhaustion for example, in my line of work going home tired is virtually guaranteed every, single, day. Plus there are days like today when I worked a double shift. I was at work from 7am this morning until midnight. Is it really a smart idea to try to operate a car after that? I feel like I am keeping myself and other drivers on the road a little safer when I don't attempt that drive that tired.

Another benefit of a bus pass is the lack of stress around parking. I recently moved to the Capital Hill area in Denver. I love my apartment, its location, its proximity to things I need and use and do. Parking is a royal pain in the arse. On an average night it took me 10-20 minutes to find a parking space, and the closest one I have ever found is 2 blocks away from where I live. I would much rather walk 4 blocks than waste expensive gasoline circling blocks like a shark attempting to will a parking spot into being.

Not everything with taking the bus is sparkly rainbows. Financially, it's a bit of a wash. $176 is a lot of money. Figuring that my hoopdie grocery getter of a car Delores uses about $10/day in fuel costs to get to and from DIA I need to take public transport about 18 days a month to make it work there. I haven't even tried adding anything like potential savings for maintenance costs. Too complicated for me. It does take a little bit longer, and requires some planning around the timeline of when I want to be at work. If I get mandatory overtime at work because of say, a snowstorm. I will most likely have to spend the night (or a good portion of it) at the airport, because the buses I need will not be running that late/early.

Overall though, worth it. Decent convenience, large reduction in stress levels, a certain novelty from traveling that way, and not having to battle with Delores. I am in, sign me up.

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