Sunday, January 26, 2014

BUS STORY # 377 (Annual Pass)

Savvy by busboy4
Savvy, a photo by busboy4 on Flickr.

I am retired. This means, among many other things, that I am no longer the beneficiary of my previous employer’s monthly bus pass. I must now pay my own way.

I am also well past the qualifying age for ABQ Ride’s “honored citizen” status (“62+ or mobility impaired” ). That means each bus ride costs me 35 cents. If I need to transfer, another 35 cents.

A typical bus trip costs me $1.40 a day. Paying my own way on the bus is probably the least expensive item on my cost-of-living budget. Well, next to the two-movies-a-month Netflix deal.

I have three other options.

One is to buy a monthly pass for $12.00.

A second is to buy a three month pass for $30.00 (six dollars a month cheaper than three monthly passes).

A third is to by an annual pass for $90.00 (30 dollars cheaper than four three month passes; 54 dollars cheaper than 12 monthly passes).

Aside from the fact that buying one pass once a year is both cheaper and easier than buying four, and a whole lot cheaper and easier than buying a dozen, there is the usage question: would I use the bus enough times for a pass to pay for itself?

I’ve been doing my homework. I can get to my bank, my photocopy shop, my primary care physician, and a twice-a-month presentation at UNM, for a 70 cents round trip. I can get to any of my grocery stores, my barbershop, my meat market, my coffee roaster, my medical specialists, and the restaurants where I meet friends for lunch every week for $1.40 per round trip. If I add stops for the post office and/or library to those trips, it’s another 35 cents. Occasionally, I make a series of stops along a route. Each reboarding costs 35 cents. But it’s rare I go over $1.40 a day.

If I continue averaging three bus trips a week at $1.40 per trip, that comes out to $18.20 a month cash fare. Versus an annual bus pass cost of $7.50 a month no matter how much or how little I ride. Plus: a bus pass would mean I won’t have to be sure I always have correct change -- a real hassle at times.

I’ve sprung for an annual Silver (“honored citizen”) pass.

I’ve begun keeping a record of how many trips I take each week, and how many transfers I make per trip. I plan to calculate the cost/savings on both a monthly and annual basis. I also plan to post these as a side link where I am currently posting the weekly This Week's Featured Bus Story, News from Albuquerque, and Holy Cow! links. I need to come up with a catchy name for this fourth link. Maybe something like “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.”

Now that I’m retired, I should have plenty of time for this little project.  I think I'll schedule it for right after my nap.


Anonymous Brenda said...

Retired, huh? Sounds like you need something to fill your time like keeping track of your weekly bus trips to keep you out of trouble! You sound like my husband. Have fun numbers man!

9:32 AM  
Blogger Busboy said...

Now that I've quit laughing, I want you to know you aren't the first to give me grief about this! But you’re right: I am a numbers man, and I am having fun.

9:18 AM  

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