Updated: January 18th, 2010
After I graduated and got a job in downtown San Francisco, I spent the first 2 weeks trying to figure out where I could park cheaper. At $300-400 for a monthly spot or $15-30 daily, the fees started adding up really quickly. In fact, I am fully convinced that 80% of the people who can afford to park in downtown expense it in full.
I do not know why I haven’t thought of public transportation sooner. Maybe because I used to [so wrongly] associate it only with people who cannot afford a car and considered myself superior to the group, or because I thought it was too ghetto (though, very true in some cases). However, as soon as I started taking a train to work, my DFR (daily frustration rating) went down significantly. If you have not tried it, trust me – it’s not that bad.
In fact, I came up with a few reasons why taking a train/bus rocks driving, some obvious, others perhaps not as much. Here they are, in order of increasing significance:
11. I could give up my car. Sell it, never buy it in the first place, return the lease – money saved either way. Newsflash: no car – no need to fix it.
10. No more insurance to pay for. Oh, Geico, how much I love you[r commercials].
9. Taking a train is faster than driving, for most metropolitan people. BART gets me to downtown SF in 15 minutes. A car takes anywhere between 25 and an hour.
8. No need to look for or pay for parking.
7. Taking public transportation is a lot more “green” than driving, even if you drive a hybrid.
6. I don’t have to pay for gas. Yeah, I have to pay for the ticket but a $45/month pass is all I need to buy. People who live further away may have higher expenses, but not nearly as high as all the fees associated with driving a car.
5. I can work on my projects using my laptop (iPod touch, PDA, Phone, whiteboard, Etch a Sketch) during the commute. In fact, I’m writing this post from a MUNI train. I can think and reflect. I can read a book. Anything is more productive than driving.
4. I can SLEEP. It is really a subset of #5 but this activity is so important, it deserved its own spot. Disclaimer: sleeping on a late night train can be dangerous and may result in murder and robbery, not that it stops me.
3. No chance of a car accident. OK, very little chance, but if a bus I’m in hits a car, I have a feeling the odds are on my side.
2. Drinking? No problem – you are not the one driving. Just don’t combine a 2 day binge session with activity #4, because that’s just creepy and people might want to poke you.
And the winner is:
1. No traffic to be stuck in. Hell, in case of ground transportation, even if you are stuck, you are not driving, so relax and do #4.
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