Get off the bus

For three years we’ve lived an experiment — being a one-car family in America. I’d like to say I did it to be green, but really I just didn’t want to spend the money on a car. When Brian lost the privilege of a company car, we did the math on buying a new car, balanced that against being able to take our amazing trips, and travel won. I bought a bus pass and spent the last three years taking the #2 bus. Sometimes it was ok, sometimes it was not.

I expected to continue on indefinitely. Not that I especially enjoy waiting at the bus stop when it’s zero or 100 or raining, or prevailing on friends for a lift to the doctor, or paying 20 bucks for a taxi when I absolutely had to get across town (TARC is fine for getting downtown. not so much across the city). But it worked most of the time.

Then an exciting development. I took on another freelance job — editing Food & Dining magazine. Suddenly my time would be a lot scarcer.  There’s no magical way to put more hours in the day (and I love sleep too much to give that up) but there was one big time-suck besides Facebook. And that’s the bus. 45 minutes from my office door to my front door. Or 15 minutes by car. I made the decision in about a minute.

So I picked out a 10=year-old Volvo wagon (a car with 210,000 miles can fit in a traveller’s budget!) and I’ll take what’s likely my last bus ride home tomorrow. So long, TARC.

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3 responses to “Get off the bus

  1. Dana, well, as friend and family member to many an old volvo owner, I can say it’s a good choice. It somehow combines style, sensibility and function to drive an old Volvo. Good luck with it, happy new year! And congratulations on the new writing gig.

  2. My husband and I just went through something similar. I chose a furniture for our house a few years back over a car to commute downtown (15 minute car ride + 10 minute walk from parking spot or 28 minutes door to door on bus). I chose the bus.

    Fast forward to last month and while I don’t commute downtown anymore, we’re spending more trips trying to make one car work, so we picked up a hand-me-down from my little brother. Toyota with 190K and lots of life. If we’re going to be a two car family, not having a car payment and not buying a new one is the next best thing.

    Congrats on the new job!

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