By: Revanche

Making three schedules mesh

June 22, 2010

Yesterday’s experiment wasn’t the best pub transit experience ever.  While I remember some stress-fraught days waiting for an employer-affiliated bus to show up, they were 90% on time coming and going, and with minor exceptions, the train was pretty solid as well.

Running late seems to be par for the course for Muni, Metro and their cousins.  Option A sounded pretty solid on paper. In fact, there’s no good way to figure out which of the 4 possible stops on an intersection a given bus pulls into as a first time rider. In fact, there were multiple possible stops on one of the 4 ways, so I ran around like a nutjob trying to figure out where to be.  Of course I missed my first shot out and was late for my first day in the new place.  Not a huge deal, but mildly frustrating. The butt burner was the fact that people requested stops EVERY block.  Add on another ten minutes to a joltingly long ride.

Going home was no picnic, either. I realized that my two-stops per hour train route was really difficult to match with the bus routes/schedule.  Coming into work using BART per Option B will call for matching yet another set of schedules to the BART/Muni pairing: that of the free shuttle.  There’s a very conveniently located free shuttle that’ll take you to the nearby BART stations so I could avoid paying for parking since it goes the opposite direction of my current carpool.  The problem is that there is one schedule, period.  That shuttle would dictate which BART and then which Muni I could take afterward, no compromises.


And as it turns out, taking on the commute like this isn’t just time, of course it costs a lot extra as well.  My costs are doubling, sometimes more than that, depending on whether I have to drive and pay for parking that day.  All told, the cost of going to work now ranges from $8.50 to $12 per day!

While I’d factored about $100 into the transportation budget, that pretty much blows it out of the water. At this rate, between starting up investing again and this chunk, I’ve used up any slack in the budget found when cutting back on spending.  It almost might be worth paying the equivalent cost in parking and saving myself the run/wait/run/wait aspect of the commute.

9 Responses to “Making three schedules mesh”

  1. Carrie says:

    be careful on bart these coming days. the bart shooting trial just ended and apparently the police are expecting riots as soon as the verdict is announced.

  2. Ciawy says:

    Hmm… How bout if you bring your car to work? Some parking structures in the city costs $9 for the whole day for early birds, if you get in before 8am.

  3. eemusings says:

    In Auckland, the only way to commute is into the city. If you need to go from west to east, say, you gotta mesh schedules and go through the nightmare of catching multiple buses – or even worse – mixing modes, ie bus and train. It sounds like your city’s PT is just about as good as ours! I say save yourself the headache and drive. I don’t quite understand the free shuttle thing but it sounds pretty inflexible (nothing is quite free?)

  4. Yikes. I live in Toronto, and it can be a huge pain to commute to anywhere that is not on the subway line. When I first commuted to work from the sub-urbs, I took a local sub urb bus to get to the main bus terminal, a rapid bus to get into the city subway, two subway lines, and one more bus (or I could walk for 15 min).

    Needless to say it was a nightmare. All 2 hours of it. 🙁

  5. Bucksome says:

    California just doesn’t know how to do mass transit well (and SF is the best in the state).

    I think your time is worth a lot so driving and paying to park might be the best solution.

  6. Sounds like the public transit system has deteriorated since the Dark Ages, when I used to live there. It used to be so easy to get around! From your story, I can now see why my son insisted on driving his car to work even after he moved into the city — to the tune of $300 a month.

  7. I say, go with the solution that causes you the least amount of stress and is the most reliable.

    To me, there is no purpose in saving money if you are going to be frustrated.

  8. Sense says:

    one more for the drive option. how much is parking vs PT commuting? how long does it take to drive vs taking PT? how much do you care about your carbon footprint, and can you carpool, saving on gas? my mom is part of a carpool where people alternate their 1 hour drive to work (no traffic; it’s just really that far to her work). is that feasible?

  9. Revanche says:

    @Carrie: Igh, I didn’t realize. Bart might actually not be the most practical option unless I can walk the rest of the near-mile to work … which I’m not sure I’m ready to do.

    @Ciawy, Bucksome, Everyday Tips, Sense: I’m sussing out parking options but the passes in the local area are ranging between $220-280. *ow!*

    I would much prefer to commute if I can because it feels easier on those bad bone days, but I might be underestimating the ease of the drive.

    @eemusings: Ugh, I’m sorry to hear you’ve got the same “options.”

    @aspiringminimalist: O. My. Lord. 2 hours?? And not even a straight shot! You have my sympathies.

    @FaM: I’m still trying to decide if I can just cope.

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