So I guess it’s safe to talk about now that I’ve been doing it for a month and a half. I tried riding the bus over a year ago and quickly stopped. This time I did some things different and it has worked out for the best. I’d like to share a few things I did and thought differently this time around that really helped me overcome the dread of using public transportation.
- Live in a big city. For those of you who live here you know that Rochester is by no means a big city. However; it does have regular public transportation and thats a start. In order to be useful, It needs to go close to where you work and where you live. Its best if you can walk from home to a bus stop but driving a short distance is better than driving to work every day.
- Make one change at a time. The biggest two reason I stopped riding last time is I would wake up a bit late and miss it and I felt I had to fit within the bus schedule. It’s true you have to fit the bus schedule, but there are many buses throughout the day. During the normal commuting times they are only 20-30 minutes apart. Missing one is really not that big of a deal. Last time I tried to change my schedule (get to work slightly earlier) and begin riding the bus at the same time. Its best if you can make one change at a time. Stick with it for a while and once you’re satisfied with the results move on to the next item. Determine what time you normally get up and find the morning Bus route that fits with that.
- Set a Goal and evaluate your performance. When I started I said I wanted to ride for 2 weeks and see how it went. At the end of my 2 weeks I evaluated my experience and it had gone so well I immediatly switched my commuter plan at work to the bus pas instead of downtown parking saving a whole bunch of cash.
- Take it With You. I carry my bag with me every day. This means I always have something that can occupy my time with me as well as giving me a place to put things I need to bring to or from work. My bag always includes my: laptop, ipod, book, water bottle, umbrela and camera.
- Utilize your Time. I decided this time around I wanted to maximize my time and get things while riding the bus. It does take me a little more time to get to work, but now that time is spent productively. I could be doing things that would normally take time away from me at home (like posting this blog message) or I could be doing something I wouldn’t normally take the time to do (read a good book, most recently Second Horseman by Kyle Mills). Don’t just sit there like a log.
- Make use of whats there. The buses run with or without you. Whether you’re a tree hugger or not I think you’d agree that its good to reduce your environmental impact. Using public transportation is a big way to do that.
- Save some Money. We all know Gas is expensive, but there are several other ways you can be saving money by riding the bus. You can lower your insurance rates (in my case over $100/6months) simply by telling your insurance company you now drive only 2-3k miles a year. On top of that if you drive and work downtown chances are you have to pay for parking. This is all on top of the general wear and tear on your vehicle.
- Park it and Forget It. Its easy to take little side trips on your way home if you’re driving. Often you’ll buy things you really don’t need. If you ride the bus make it a point that once you get home you don’t leave unless absolutely necessary or if you can, take the bus again.
- Get an Unlimited Ride Pass. It works out almost even for you to buy an unlimited pass. They’re $56 so if you ride them 46 times a month (23 work days) its 1.22/ride. If your employer is like mine, they’ll even contribute a portion to the cost of the pass and you’ll break even long before the end of the month.
- Walk a little. We all need a little bit of excercise. If you can walk to the bus do it. It’ll give you just a few minutes of excercise a day but it’s a few minutes more than you were getting before. If you really want to get some benefit, take the long route and maybe add your bike to the mix once and a while.
2 thoughts on “10 Tips to help you Park it and Forget it”
Glad to hear it is working out for you. Here’s a few other things I would add:
11) Destress. Not having to drive and the walking can really help me calm down and collect my thoughts both before and after my day at work.
12) Be safer. Rush hour is probably the time when you are most likely to find yourself in a fender bender, especially in the winter time. Eliminate the risk.
13) Car maintenance. Less driving, less wear and tear. Additionally in our Rochester winters the salt beats up on your vehicle. By avoiding the rush hour winter time driving you are eliminating the time when the salt and road spray is at its heaviest.
I have my bag with me at all times too, everywhere i go, it has everything i need to keep me occupied, or you know if something should come up, i’m always prepared 🙂