Thursday, January 5, 2017

Back to having an annual pass

As of 1 Jan 2017, I again own an annual bus pass. Starting in the mid-1990s, I opted to get an annual instead of monthlies to save money. At the time, you paid for 10 months yet got 12. It's a little less generous now, 11 gets you 12, but still a deal. If you're flush enough to cough up a grand-plus for a single transaction, do it.

The winner for me, though, was elimination of the second zone. I had previously gotten a two-zone annual, which cost over $1,600. With the one zone, that's about a $530 savings. I stopped with the Zone 2 annual when I realized that all my biking meant I was only using maybe $1,200 in real bus fare, so I pocketed that money. But I'm biking less, so need a cheaper, more reliable method of getting myself around. This is that method.

How great it would be for everyone to have an annual pass! What fare to pay and when to pay it become non-issues, as are the annoyance of having to either swap out paper passes or remembering to re-up the electronic one in time. Of course, it takes some self-discipline to set aside the cost of a monthly pass each month all year so that you have that grand-and-change for the annual purchase. Not everyone can do that, but every alternative costs more in the long run.

For me, having the pass is more a form of insurance against getting stuck. I generally don't go anyplace the bus can't get me home, so if the weather is too rotten, or some other reason makes the bike not an option, I can always get where I'm going.

If you don't use transit at all, taking the plunge to drop a stack of C-notes may seem bizarre, but consider your own alternatives. Cars cost money, big money, if you're using them, and even when you don't, they still have ongoing costs -- insurance, registration, inspection. Those latter items alone likely exceed the cost of an annual pass, never mind any actual operating costs.

Sum total, next to a bicycle, the most cost-effective form of transportation is the annual pass. $1,072.50 of your hard-earned money, and you can go just about anywhere transit can take you.

1 comment:

  1. Aside from the large upfront cost of an annual transit pass, this is the most cost-effective means of transportation