It seems that no matter what time I leave work, there is always a bus at the bus stop waiting to pick people up as I walk past it to my car. In reality there is a bus every 15 minutes on the quarter hours, and I just happen to leave at nice quater hour times. In any case, it makes me feel kinda bad to just walk past it and get in my car, when I could just as easily save some steps and hop on the bus. I took the bus for two months, when I didn’t have a car, and I still pay for a monthly T pass — I could hop on at no additional cost.
Today , I came to a new justification for why I bought a car a year ago, and continue to skip the bus in favor of it. The bus takes over an hour to get to the end of the subway line, which is about 20 minutes from my apartment on average. That is a long time. The car takes about 25-45 minutes, depending on traffic.
The car is vehicle, by which I can transform money into time.
It takes a whole lot of money and provides an hour a day or so of time which I can use to accomplish things that can not be done on a bus (there are additional morning time savings). That doesn’t seem very efficient, given the high cost of a car. But really, it’s very difficult to actually turn money into time. Other than increasing your travel speed, the primary way is to pay people to do things for you, like cook, clean, and laundry which is also expensive.
Anyways, I feel perfectly happy to purchase time at the exchange rate offered by a car. Thinking of it in those terms gets my mind away from the whole energy/pollution efficiency of mass transit. Rough estimates show that I spend about $28 a day on my car (gas, loan payments, upkeep, & insurance), which by rough estimates are similar to the value of an hour of my time (or less) — which is of course why I am perfectly happy with the exchange rate. I just thought it was an interesting thought, enough to share.