I have been riding the bus to work almost every day for the past two months. I used to live in Atlanta and use public transit several times a day. After moving back to Florida I had a hard time justifying the time and expense. After getting in two minor car accidents in 4 months, I decided to give it another try and I’m hooked. Here’s why:
Saving Money. Before I started riding the bus, I was paying $40 a month in parking and $60 a month in gas. I also live in an area notorious for bad drivers so I paid a $500 deductible to repair my car after an accident downtown and $250 to replace a mirror after I was side swiped on the highway. My job subsidizes my buss pass so it costs me $20 a month instead of $85. I’ve cut my monthly transportation costs in half.
Lowering Emissions. By now we’ve probably all heard that carpooling or commuting by mass transit walking or biking reduces emissions. When we avoid driving alone we reduce the number of cars on the road resulting in lower emissions. My region also uses hybrid buses to further the cause.
Time to Relax. Sometimes I need 30 more minutes to sit on my butt and surf Facebook in the morning. My bus has free wifi so I can listen to a podcast and read all the memes I want. I actually get kind of excited when traffic slows down the bus, so I can have a few more minutes to veg.
Supporting Mass Transit. Mass transit works best when people who don’t have to ride chose to ride. Ideally this would happen because riding transit is a quicker or easier alternative to driving to work. Sometimes, though, this not the case. But either way riders who pay full price for their tickets help subsidize the lower price tickets purchased by riders who don’t have an alternative mode of transportation. Additionally transit authorities get funding based on ridership. So riding the bus more helps build the case for better funded transit. That means better buses and quicker trips.