Introduction

This post was written by myself, Brandon Nolet, in the context that your area has a functioning public transit system that consists of several bus routes and several municipal train routes, either underground or above ground. I currently use public transit as my main source of transportation. When it’s warmer, I try to bike as much as possible.

Maintenance

What’s great about using public transit is that you don’t have to worry about something like an “oil change” or whether your transmission fluid is running low, or whether your gas tank is running on empty. Don’t even get me started on blinker fluid.

Without actually owning a vehicle you’re not responsible for any of the maintenance required meaning no trips to the garage, no wondering aimlessly while you wait for the car to get out of the shop, and no coming back two weeks later just because the problem seems to have returned. Pesky fan belt is slipping again.

Responsibility

Now this one’s a little more of a copout but next time you’re late for work, you don’t have to worry about it. Just tell your boss that the metro/subway was down because someone was sick on one of the trains.

Kidding aside, by using public transit, you’ve removed your societal responsibility to be a prudent driver, as you’re not even the one driving at that point. You don’t have the responsibility to make sure your car’s not parked in front of a fire hydrant, or driveway, or, god forbid, you block your boss’ only way to get out of her parking spot by accident.

Cost

The costs of a car are numerous:

  • Insurance
  • License plates
  • Driver’s license
  • Gas
  • Repairs
  • Parking
  • Parking Tickets
  • Finance Payments

There’s probably a few more I forgot but all that could probably total something along the lines of $4,000 or more a year. Currently, I pay about $80/mo for public transit. At $4,000 a year that’s about $333/mo, a delta of ~$253/mo. That’s $253 more you’ll have in your pocket paying what I pay for transportation. Of course I ‘pay’ in the time delta between going from place A to B when compared to a car, but that’s actually time that I can take advantage of! That delta is even smaller when your city is overrun with traffic jams.

Free Time

I can take advantage of the time I’m using public transit because I’m not the one driving. I can focus on whatever else that needs my undivided attention. In the last month I’ve written articles, I’ve read articles, books, poems, etc, I’ve done some coding, and I’ve even listened intently to a podcast. The lattermost of those can be done while driving, but still, I had more time to do it.

For those less interested in using their time productively, you can always be gaming on your phone/tablet, you could be watching a movie or episode of a tv series, you could even be just scrolling through your favourite social media feed if that’s your thing.

Context

Lastly, the context required to get into using public transit is very low, especially today.

You don’t even have to live in the city you’re using public transit in. You don’t have to subscribe to the service either.

For the cost of a coffee at Starbucks you could go from one end of your city to the other in much less time than it would take to walk the same distance. All you’d have to do is pull up any public transit app (the Transit app is my preferred) and punch in your destination and you’re on your way.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of benefit for public transit but certainly my favourite is how I don’t have to actually focus on the driving part of the transportation. I like to make efficient use of my time so if I can actually perform two things (making my way to my destination and something else) then I’m still ‘paying’ less time than I would with a car.