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Old 06-14-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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In NYC, the public transportation is great. The subway system is 24/7 and the areas the subway doesn't cover have bus routes.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,927,034 times
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Like anything in life, public vs private transportation is a trade-off.

A personal vehicle is definitely freeing. That's not just advertising. If you want to get to some out-of-the-way destination or you must get from point A to B in a short amount of time, a personal vehicle is your best bet.

However, public transportation--even if you already own a car--is infinitely cheaper, and--for many--less stressful. I have a long commute for the next two months. Faced with the choice of 1.25 hours of driving myself or 2 hours on a bus, the bus wins, hands down. Driving would mean that time is completely wasted as the best I could manage while driving is possibly chatting on the phone or listening to the radio. On the bus, however, I can review papers, write or program on my laptop, read a book, play a game, or catch some extra sleep. Certainly can't do that in a car.
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,547 posts, read 17,492,812 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Riding a bus is far less stressful, in my opinion. Big deal, I have to walk a bit. Big deal, it takes some more of my oh-so-precious time. I don't have to buy gas and maintain a bus, either--I pay and ride. End of story. Driving a car is a pain. Hate 'em. If I didn't have to have one, I'd lose it faster than you could say, "pain in the **s."

Unfortunately I'll be stuck with needing a car/truck in the future, since I'm moving to a more rural setting. At least it's not as stressful driving in an area like that, though.
Before I moved to this small town, I used to take busses frequently. Some time it was less stressful, since traffic in Riverside CA is insane. I got to sit there in something bigger than cars and usually had working ac. Of course it takes hours to go where you could drive in twenty minutes some times. Here with no car I depend on rides until I can afford a car dependable to be worth it. But even if you live close to a store and can get some of what you need, big heavy things are a problem. A couple bags of dog and cat food, some kitty litter, a couple of gallons of milk, your not going to carry that home too easy, nor on a bus.

I'd really like a car here since its not driving with a bunch of insane people who have to be there yesterday. And there is something to look at while your traveling. And even in a city setting, if your going too far, its hard to find a way there from where you live. Or maybe you can and it just takes six hours over an hours drive. I like the idea of cars you can rent by the day and return for when you need them.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 41,311,027 times
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Every ten minutes? That's ridiculous. Half hour at MOST.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 44,545,624 times
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If the bus routes had more shelters and were more affordable, I think more people would take the bus. As it is in Orlando, every bus change is an additional $2. So, it's easier for people without vehicles to just chip in financially with people who do. My daughter uses the bus when she has to and it is totally inconvenient.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:29 AM
 
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One of the terrific things about using public transportation (ditto for biking & walking) is that it limits opportunities for unnecessary purchases. I've become a great deal more resourceful since living with one less car.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Up in the air
19,126 posts, read 26,629,870 times
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Car upkeep actually isn't that bad if you know how to fix it. I've been working on cars nearly my entire life and my father is an ASE certified master tech so if I can't figure it out, he certainly can. I also get wholesale prices on auto parts, or just go to our local junk yard and get really great deals. I know not everyone has those resources, but since I do it makes more sense to own a car (or 4.. )

As for public transportation... it's pretty horrid in my area. Buses run infrequently and are nearly always really late or really early. It would take me nearly an hour to get from my house, to the closest bus stop near my workplace, then I'd have to walk another mile to get to work... it takes me about 15 minutes to drive. Then, after work I'd have to walk that mile again and then sit for another hour or two until I got home.

I'll go ahead and spend the money and just own a car.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 51,274,872 times
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I can and do take the bus to Boston and back every working day. It is an 80 mile round trip so at $.20 per mile operating expense and $20 to park all day driving costs $36 per day. Taking the bus cost $1.40 for the car and $15 for the bus. No wonder I take the bus. It also lets me get a half hour nap each way and, while I am awake it lets me watch the idiot maneuvers that Boston area drivers are noted for doing or tying to.

The irony is I cannot take mass transit of any kind from Londonderry to either Derry or Nashua or up to the mall of New Hampshire. For those I use one of the clunkers I keep around.
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,617,662 times
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On the whole, I think any metro area should have decent buses *and* subway/light rail. Let the trains run on a tighter schedule 24/7, and keep the buses more spread out and only for outskirts, etc.

With that said, I have 3 major problems with buses 1) being crammed in with a bunch of strangers really tweaks my anxiety disorder (which is just my problem); 2) sometimes the only stop to get to "corporate street" is on "crack alley" and it's not cool to walk through there!; 3) all the taxes that are collected for us in the name of "public transportation" are mismanaged and wasted most of the times (if they actually used the money wisely, we' have some awesome PT!).

Anyone who doesn't believe point #3 -- take a look at all the money they've collected in Seattle for public transportation, how much they've spent, and how much they still have nothing! And you can't argue that they have a lot of buses because Bill Gates bought them half their fleet when Microsoft boomed!
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 10,746,011 times
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Wow, what a vague and overly simplistic argument. I do both personally, I take the bus for everything I can because the service here is very good...then use the car of trips out of town (or into wilderness areas) and for transporting heavy objects.

Cost of bus pass: ~$35 a month

~Cost of Car:
Insurance: $66 a month
Car total: $25,000
Gas: $40 every 2 months (I really don't drive much)
Oil: $25 every 4-5 months (I push it out a bit)
Parking: $15 a month (if I rode to work $100 a month)

If the cost of a car is considered "free" in your book, that's pretty damn astounding.

I enjoy the freedom of a car, and it's necessary to me in instances, but I know it's expensive.

I avoid the train because it seems to be where the nuts hang out, but the bus is nice to sit and read or doze or catch up on my email.
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