Get around, get around, I get around

For once, I’m pretty stoked with Auckland public transport: the new Outer Link bus every 15 minutes means I have a new alternative for commuting. The incongruity of the system means even though it’s a little more roundabout than the bus I’ve been catching, and thus takes longer, it’s half the fare – so I’m saving money and it’s a more reliable service. No more waiting half an hour in the pitch dark to get home is a win in my book.

Of course, as winter ebbs away, it’s also getting feasible for me to walk or even run to work and back. Price-wise and health-wise, that’s obviously the best bet.

All up, I have four options for commuting:

Bus 1

$3 one way, more direct route (5-10 minutes), comes every 20-30 minutes – but isn’t exactly reliable.

Bus 2

$1.50 one way, slightly longer route, comes every 15 minutes.

On foot

40-50 minutes walk. I really enjoy the walk, though it exposes me to our notoriously fickle weather which can swing from scorching to monsoon-like and back in that time.

Drive

Literally 5-10 minutes, which is convenient, especially on days I have meetings and interviews. (Parking is free at work.)

At the moment, it’s all pretty ad-hoc; I go with the flow depending on the weather, what time I get up, whether T needs the car and whether I have appointments during the day. Having so many options is awesome, and it’s another reason not to move. T keeps arguing that we can live anywhere now that he has a bike and I can drive – but I know better than anyone else that cars are unreliable, and as a rider there are days he simply won’t be able to ride to work. (Also, driving can be kind of annoying.) As a lifelong PT user, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable living somewhere where I didn’t have the option of hopping a bus to the office.

How do you commute? What would you choose out of these options?

6 thoughts on “Get around, get around, I get around

  • Reply Investing Newbie September 1, 2011 at 00:04

    I’m with you eemusings. I live by Public Transportation. I always get the question: When are you going to get a car? And my answer is always, NEVER. For one, there is no point in me getting a car when I spend most of my time in the city. Two, so many other people have cars that I never feel like I need one.

    Even when I take Taxis in the city sometimes, I feel the train would get me there faster because there is no traffic. I also like to think that, in an indirect way, I’m being green by not adding to our world’s pollution problem!

  • Reply Stephany September 1, 2011 at 05:10

    The bus system isn’t very good where I live. And by “not very good”, I mean not very safe. For me, I have to have a car to get around because I don’t feel safe using public transportation. Plus, where I live isn’t very “walkable”.

  • Reply Stephanie September 1, 2011 at 06:01

    I grew up in the countryside, so I’m not used to public transportation at all. I get around on foot or by bike. Nevertheless, public transport in LA is pretty inconvenient and not that great, so it’s not used except by the people who can’t afford to drive. Currently, I live walking distance from the lab I work in and from the grocery store, so transportation isn’t an issue that I ever really deal with.

    However, if I were you, how I got to work would depend on the day and the time and the weather. I’d probably take Bus 2 most of the time, drive when I’m in a rush, take Bus 1 if I miss Bus 2, and walk if I happen to get up early.

  • Reply krantcents September 1, 2011 at 08:35

    Unfortunately, in Los Angeles, I must use my car to commute to work. There is no bus that would take me there. I wish I could walk to work, but it would take too long (8 miles).

  • Reply Insomniac Lab Rat September 1, 2011 at 17:14

    I usually ride the bus, but I do walk to lab sometimes. If we had free parking, I would probably use it on days when I had a meeting or presentation, but ride the bus or walk other days anyway.

    I’m planning on walking more once it cools down, but it’s been hitting 100F (~38C) almost every day this summer, so even if it’s only 90F (32C- ha! only!) in the morning or evening, it’s still a pretty uncomfortable walk. It takes me about 30-35 minutes to walk. The bus only takes about 10 minutes, and comes every 15 minutes during peak hours (7-9am, 4-6pm) or every 35 minutes otherwise. Usually the bus isn’t perfectly on schedule, but lately it’s been terrible- only about half of the buses seem to show up in the morning, and those that do are so crowded that you can never sit anyway. It’s only 60 cents for students, and it is faster…but I’m thinking I’ll walk when I won’t sweat to death in the process! Especially in the evening when I usually don’t leave until after peak hours, so if I miss one, it’s really not worth sitting there for 35 minutes when I could be home in that amount of time.

  • Reply Serendipity September 5, 2011 at 17:49

    I wish I lived somewhere where public transportation was more of an option for me, especially since I spend so much on my car. ( payment, gas insurance). It would take almost 2 hours by bus and 30 mins by walking to get to work and then that home, so time wise, I have a car to get around. Also, besides being inefficient, it’s not that safe either, really where I work. So, car is the way to go for me.

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