As a public transportation commutor now for 3 years I’ve come to realize there are all sorts of benefits of taking the bus or train to work each each day. Not only can you save money, you can reclaim time to yourself and avoid stresses of traffic in big or small metropolitan areas. So, think about some of these benefits when considering to drive to work yourself, or explore public transportation.
You’re Saving the Environment
Now that people are green conscious, it’s cool to be a commuter. I like the fact that I’m armed with my reading material, computer, etc. and can kick back and enjoy the ride. With all the automobiles on the highways these days commuters can help save the environment by reducing emissions. Having less cars on the highway also helps us reduce the use of oil.
You Can Accomplish More
I’m writing this post on my bus ride home. Commuting on a bus or train allows you to reclaim time to do more meaningful things rather than sitting behind the wheel of a car stuck in traffic. I’ve found commuting using public transportation provides me extra time to read, blog or get myself organized for the day. I used to work on my commute home, but now I feel like my commute should be time spent relaxing and winding down from the work day. During the morning commute I try to do a Bible study or read.
Everyone wants to save money on transportation, right? There is no doubt public transportation can help you avoid additional wear and tear on your automobile. Driving your car less means fewer oil changes and prolongs the mechanical parts of your car. It also reduces the amount of money you spend on gas, parking and possibly insurance premiums. The best possible situation is reducing the need for a car for your family (although, I’m not there yet). Talk about huge savings! You don’t have to pay a car payment, insurance, gas and maintenance. Certainly, reducing the need for a car can save thousands of dollars per year.
Meet New People
There is a always a good chance you’ll meet new people on your commute. I’ve been taking the bus a few years now and see many of the same people each day. From time to time, I’ll have conversations with them on the ride. Meeting new people is always beneficial in making new friends and sometimes networking.
You Decrease Your Chances of an Accident
I don’t have any statistical evidence off-hand, but I believe you can decrease your chances of being in a life threatening automobile accident. You don’t have to personally deal with bad drivers. Certainly, a bus driver could have an accident, but it might be better to be in a big bus than a Honda Civic. And I would almost certainly bet the chances of having an accident on a train are much less than in a car.
Time Flies By
While a bus commute home might take the same amount of time as driving yourself, the time flies by. Personally, I could be sitting in traffic on a bus reading or blogging and not realize I’ve been sitting in a traffic jam for 30 minutes. Obviously, you have a much different feeling if you’re sitting behind the wheel of a car. A train, on the other hand, typically doesn’t experience traffic jams (depending on the city).
Reduce Stress and Rest
Probably one of the better benefits of public transportation is the ability to reduce stress and rest. As I mentioned, I try to wind down on my ride home. Getting your mind off work and focusing on doing something else is a great stress reliever. With two you children at home, I’ve found rest can be difficult to get some days. Therefore, I’ve also been known to take a little cat nap to refresh myself.
A Challenge: Try Public Transportation for One Week
I’d like to leave you with a challenge. Do a little bit of research for public transportation in your area. Note: you don’t have to live in a big city. Determine how much it would cost you to take a bus or train to work everyday and also consider the savings by not driving your car. Map out your route and try public transportation one week and see how you like it. I think you will find you experience many of the same benefits I have and see some savings.
Do you use public transportation today? If so, please let us know what benefits you’ve experienced in the comments.
Photo by shaggyshoo