A Rather Dramatic First Day of Using Public Transportation

Today was my first day of using the bus to get to school. I’ve used public transportation in other cities I’ve lived in but I haven’t used it very much here because I’ve always had a car. Now that I’m car free I need to take the bus. I have to take two buses each way to get to school and back. The bus ride to school went fine although I did misread the schedule and cause myself to have to wait an extra 10 minutes for the first bus. I had to wait less than 10 minutes to transfer to the second bus. I like the second bus because it has fewer stops making for a quicker trip. They are also equipped with GPS and there is a sign at the bus stop telling you how many minutes it will be until the next bus arrives. That is a great feature. You don’t have to wonder if the bus is late or on time, you know for sure when the bus will arrive.

The bus ride home didn’t go as smooth. I either have to catch a bus two minutes after my class ends or twenty minutes after my class ends. The bus stop isn’t close enough for me to have a realistic chance of catching the first bus. Catching a bus twenty minutes after class would be fine because that gives me plenty of time to get my stuff together, go to the bathroom or whatever, and still leisurely walk to the bus stop. The problem is this bus arrives at my transfer point about twenty five minutes before the bus I take home arrives. If I could catch the first bus I would just make it to the transfer point in time to catch my second bus. I’m probably not explaining that very clearly but the point is that I have a long wait to transfer buses on my route home. That is just something you have to deal with when you use public transportation.

The drama came on the ride home. A lady had a seizure and the bus driver had to call an ambulance. That obviously kept the bus from continuing on its route. We had to disembark and catch another bus. That would have been about another 10 minute wait. Luckily, I have the best GF in the world and she volunteered to come pick me up.

Overall riding the bus isn’t that bad. It will probably be less dramatic next time. I just need to consult the schedule before I go to minimize my waiting time.

Getting Rid of My Car

After much consideration I have decided to get rid of my car.  My plan is to get rid of it after my last final for the semester in early December.  Next semester I’ll only have class on Monday afternoons.  That is the only place I’ll really need to go.  I’ll be relying on public transportation to get there and anywhere else I want to go.  Since I’m living with my GF I should be able to combine any trip I need to make with our other trips.  I’ve been reluctant to give up my car because I haven’t wanted to get up early twice a week to take the bus to school.  Now that I will only have to take the bus once a week and not have to get up early to catch it I don’t have much excuse for not getting rid of my car.

I’m not sure whether I’ll sell my car or donate it.  My plan is to try to sell it for a low price and if it doesn’t sell then I’ll go ahead and donate it.  Since I won’t make enough money to itemize I won’t get any benefit from donating the car but I’d still like to see it go to a good cause.

Getting rid of the car won’t save me a lot of money because it has been paid off for a long time and I don’t drive much anyway.  I’ll save $20 a month on car insurance and and another $40 or so in gas and some more from not having to make repairs or pay taxes and registration.  I will have to pay for bus fare and I might have to pay something to be added as a driver to my GF’s insurance although I will rarely be driving her car.  My net savings should be somewhere around $60 a month.

Even if I get nothing for this car my cost per mile based on my purchase price alone is less than two cents per mile. I bought this car cheap and put over 90,000 miles on it. I didn’t keep complete records of my repair, maintenance, gasoline and other costs so I can’t figure my total cost per mile.  I am sure that it was much lower than average though.  Someone buying an average priced new car would still have a higher cost per mile than me even if they put a million miles on their car.  I definitely received good value out of the purchase of this car.