Public Vs. Private Transportation

With the rising costs of fuel, many of us are looking for alternative means of daily transportation. That, combined with the fact that more people are aiming to get more mileage from their personal vehicles has resulted in an increasing demand for transportation services.  When deciding which option is right for you, consider the costs associated with both.  Though not measured in dollars and cents, you might be surprised to learn which option is more ‘expensive’ for you.

Cost or Comfort?

It’s easy to assume that public transportation is the more frugal option. Generally speaking, a bus token will often be less expensive than a cab or other private transportation service.  Yes, public transportation is the more cost-effective option. However, do you honestly find public transportation to be an enjoyable experience?

Plain and simple, most means of public transportation are filthy.  How many times have you hopped on a bus or train and wish you had a bucket of hand sanitizer with you? Additionally, on your way to work, you’re treated to a medley of headphone noise, office gossip and a thorough recap of last-night’s Dancing With The Stars.  None of which sound particularly appealing to me.

Time or Money?

Forget about the horrific experience, let’s talk about your time. First, you might have to take several different buses or trains in order to reach your destination.  What is usually a 20 minute trip can easily take an hour using public transportation.  Also, you’re on their schedule let’s not forget that.  Public transportation doesn’t care if you were up half the night because your kids are sick.  More importantly, it doesn’t understand that you have to be at the office a few minutes early before the good coffee runs out.  Finally, how many times have you seen someone frantically chasing a bus they just missed. Sure, it looks funny in the movies but it can be very traumatic if you’re late for work drinking motor oil out of a cup.

 

Hidden Costs

Strictly speaking in terms of dollars and cents, public transportation is less expensive than private transportation.  However, are you really saving money? The few dollars you are saving with public transportation might balance out to more money being spent in other ways. For example, are you spending more money on child care because of the additional commute time associated with public transportation?  If you answered yes, maybe public transportation isn’t saving you money at all.

 

Decisions…Decisions

When you factor the many decisions associated with public or private transportation, only you can decide how comfortable you feel using public transportation.  If things like time and comfort are priceless to you, perhaps you’re best served spending a few extra dollars and taking private transportation to work.  Besides, you know that you’ll at least be able to enjoy the good coffee before everyone else gets there.

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