In large metropolitan areas, it’s usually pretty easy to use public transportation, but it can be tough to get around in a smaller city with less public transportation. I decided to give it a try in Boynton Beach to see if it was easier or cheaper for me to get to work with public transportation.
There is a bus system and a train that runs north/south throughout Palm Beach county, so I checked them both. I happen to live with a bus expert. My boyfriend is a teacher and the kids in his high school have to ride the city buses, so he helps them find their way quite often, and he helped me find my way as well. I’m lucky because I happen to live and work along the same main road, so there was just one bus I had to take, no connections. My boyfriend also happened to have an extra bus pass, so he gave that to me. All-in-all it was pretty easy for me to prepare.
Let’s compare the cost:
It costs $4.50 for an all-day pass or $60 for a monthly pass. I usually spend $120 in gas per month, so riding the bus would save me $60 a month, or $720 a year!
Now let’s compare the time:
It took me 10 minutes to walk to the bus stop. I was on the bus for 30 minutes and then it took me 10 minutes to walk to my work. So it took a total of 50 minutes. It usually takes me 20 minutes to drive to work each day. So it would take me an hour longer each day to get to and from work by bus than by driving. That’s 20 hours each month or 260 in a year!
I also have to factor in the convenience of having a car at work. I happened to choose an interesting day to ride the bus because I got to work and our internet was down. For an internet company that doesn’t really work, so they sent me home right away. I had to run to catch the 9:30 bus or I would have had to wait another half hour for the next one.
On the flip side, I was able to catch up on my reading while on the bus, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had driven to work. This was a nice perk, but not a necessary one.
For me, it doesn’t really make sense to ride the bus. But it’s nice to know that if my car breaks down I can find my way to work without it.