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Friday, June 12, 2009

A frugal commute. . . .

Now that summer is almost here, it's almost time to begin my bus commute from the stop a couple of blocks from my house (rather than the car to train to bus commute that I usually do during colder or rainy weather). Each morning as I pass by the bus stop in my car, on the way to the MAX station, I consider the hour-long bus ride (including a transfer to another bus downtown) that is in my future.

Last year I did this bus commute day in and day out and while I didn't like it, gas prices were so high then (was gas really almost $4 a gallon last summer???) that taking the longer commute in a dirty, crowded bus seemed like a great deal. I was spending less than $20 on gas per month last summer, which was fabulous, considering how high gas was!

This year, I DREAD the thought of waiting at the bus stop (and exposing myself to car horns and cat calls, as it's on a major street) and then waiting again for a transfer to the university. Why is this? Maybe because gas is still less than $3 a gallon here in Portland, and I'm not going to save 'as much' money as I did last year?

Granted, I'm taking a class this summer that will preclude a late-night bus trip, so I'll only be commuting this way three times a week. I think next Tuesday will be my first day back on the bus, so I'll have to see how it goes then. I think my memories of the bus are clouded by the few hot, hot, hot days that I rode a bus without A/C and was simply miserable. For an hour.

I'm going to try to sell myself on the bus commute by reminding myself not only of the money I'll be saving but also by reminding myself that I'll get to listen to my digital books on a more frequent basis (which also helps tune out some of the rather unfortunate souls who also choose this particular bus line).

5 comments:

Andrea said...

Praying you will have a pleasant experience on your first trip and set the pace for the summer.
Blessings, andrea

Candice Lynn said...

I do have to say that I see your point here. I used to ride the max to and from work but now I have the bf drop me off at work since it's on his way to work. The 2 times I have had to take the bus when the max was down, I so could see your point. It's gross and smelly and if it's hot its REALLY smelly! You do save money, but at the same time the amount of time you save may be worth more than saving some cash!

Candice
@candice_lynn

Frugalchick said...

Could you get one of those portable, battery-powered fans to make the hot bus a bit more bearable? Or even a small water bottle to spritz yourself on the way home.

DarcyLee said...

I agree it's not always convenient or even very pleasant to choose the most frugal option, but sometimes it's worth it. It's good that you are keeping yourself occupied with your digital books and the time will go by more quickly. And, yes, be safe :)

Frugal Disney Mom said...

I don't have a car never have. I have been taking the bus all of my adult life. You can do it. Not only to save money but you can also save some Earth.

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