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Old 01-03-2021, 05:56 PM
 
26 posts, read 6,997 times
Reputation: 23

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From what I have read so far in this forum and other forums, the train is the most efficient and reliable mode of transport from lower Westchester towns to Manhattan.
I do know that some choose to drive and was curious to hear about that experience from those who do.

- Why do you choose to drive?
- Do you save money? Or do you save time?
- Do you drive every day?
- Any tips? Is there a sweet spot (for less traffic) time to leave in the morning and evening?
- What do you do when you come into the city? Where do you park?
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Old 01-03-2021, 06:27 PM
 
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Traffic is hit or miss, meaning it's as likely to be traffic as not. But the good part of living in Westchester is having the luxury of multiple highways (Saw Mill, 95, 87) to bring you to NYC. These days due to social restrictions in place I commute by automobile because I prefer solace in my own car as opposed to having a train conductor tell me where to sit. Don't get me wrong, before social distancing the train ride can be enjoyable, especially if you have a talk with someone you know. If you are polite to conductors you will usually have smooth sailing.

In terms of saving money, I use cheap gas so I probably save 20% of what my monthly train ticket would be. I live near the Saw Mill Parkway, and although there are traffic lights, it brings you close to the Upper West Side and runs adjacent to Rt 9. I usually park in various garages that have good rates. Obviously take all personal belongings with you if you use a parking garage. A lot of parking garages say they are not responsible for lost or missing items. Tip the valet guys so you establish a good relationship with you and they will bring you car to and from.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:22 PM
 
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Thanks for this. Very helpful. We are considering a move to Westchester. My husband and I both work in Manhattan though for now it is unclear what the office policy will be with regard to WFH post-covid.

And we consider all associated costs, we were thinking worst case scenario is that we both need to come into the office most days, then monthly tickets for the two of us is probably comparable to driving in and parking somewhere.
Many employers have given their staff some indication of WFH policies at least upto 2022, but ours hasn't. I guess they are also somewhat unsure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrekker96 View Post
Traffic is hit or miss, meaning it's as likely to be traffic as not. But the good part of living in Westchester is having the luxury of multiple highways (Saw Mill, 95, 87) to bring you to NYC. These days due to social restrictions in place I commute by automobile because I prefer solace in my own car as opposed to having a train conductor tell me where to sit. Don't get me wrong, before social distancing the train ride can be enjoyable, especially if you have a talk with someone you know. If you are polite to conductors you will usually have smooth sailing.

In terms of saving money, I use cheap gas so I probably save 20% of what my monthly train ticket would be. I live near the Saw Mill Parkway, and although there are traffic lights, it brings you close to the Upper West Side and runs adjacent to Rt 9. I usually park in various garages that have good rates. Obviously take all personal belongings with you if you use a parking garage. A lot of parking garages say they are not responsible for lost or missing items. Tip the valet guys so you establish a good relationship with you and they will bring you car to and from.
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Old 01-03-2021, 08:39 PM
 
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unless you're getting into the office by 730am or earlier, i'd say driving in would not be feasible. will get tiring real quickly.
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Old 01-04-2021, 05:34 AM
 
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Thanks.
I think commuting or driving takes its toll either way, but at least when not driving one can 'rest' a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ltjbukem73 View Post
unless you're getting into the office by 730am or earlier, i'd say driving in would not be feasible. will get tiring real quickly.
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:05 AM
 
Location: USA
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Riding the train down in the morning gives you time to read the newspapers. Riding the train back up in the evening gives you time to read junk mail or snooze.

Although the connection from MetroNorth to the Lex Express 4 or 5 train is not the greatest, it's still better than driving to lower Manhattan if that's your destination.
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Old 01-04-2021, 04:51 PM
KB4
 
Location: New York
684 posts, read 1,259,291 times
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My husband and I have been WFH since March but we used to take the train. I honestly don't care what is cheaper. There's no way I'm going to get up at 5 am to avoid the traffic, or be stuck on the FDR every. single. morning. At least on the train I can browse my emails, or the news, or even watch a movie. Metro North is not bad (or wasn't, until they switched to reduced schedules due to covid).

I drove to the office a couple of times in July and it wasn't too bad even between 8 am and 9 am, but the traffic was already much worse when I drove in one day in mid-September. My friend was driving to the office for a few months last year (2019) after she had knee surgery. I think she left home around 6:30 am or earlier, and the office by 3:30 pm, and it was ok, so maybe that's the sweet spot? The garage next to our office charges $25 per day (including tax) if you are there by 10 am.

Henry Hudson Parkway always seems nicer than FDR but our offices are on the East side.
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Old 01-05-2021, 06:14 AM
 
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My kids used to spend Mondays with my parents in the city and I would pick them up after work so I would drive down once a week and drive back with them.
if you can leave before 6:30 AM you won't hit traffic and get there ~7:15. Evening is more spread out so you would probably have to go after 7-8 PM or so. If nothing egregious happens it could be about 40 minutes down and about 60-75 minutes up.
Garages in the city often have 12 hour specials for about $20-25 but some employers may have a deal with a nearby garage so you can use it for a longer time.

When it doesn't work: bad weather eg. snow, rain - everyone is slower and it's just a more dangerous drive. When timing forces going with traffic in the morning or after work it can be infuriating. And depending on your car situation you're tying up a car for the whole day which may or may not be an issue.

Whether you save money - it's about the same.
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Old 01-06-2021, 04:15 PM
 
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Thanks! The train definitely sounds like the easier option
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