Image via Wikipedia
Today was supposed to be "Car Free Day" in the DC Metro area and around the world. The idea is for people to abandon their cars and use public transit, walk, or bike. It is one of those events that the left like to promote to try to get people to be more green and to help alleviate congestion on the roadways. They probably want to reduce the congestion so that their own commute in their cars is less of a hassle.
Now I am not averse to the idea of public transit. I have used the metro system on several occasions whenever I have wanted to go into the city for an event or to visit certain attractions. The key is that the benefits and costs of using the system outweigh the hassles of driving in the city and trying to find parking downtown. Usually, on the occasions that I have used Metrorail it is on the weekends during off peak hours.
I have also express numerous times my frustration at the traffic congestion on the beltway during my commute to work. It normally takes me about an hour or so to get to work in the morning and back in the evening. On the worst traffic days, usually around holidays or inclement weather, the commute can be as long as two hours each way. During a typical week, I probably use between $25-$30 worth of gasoline each week.
There have been a few times when due to the frustration of dealing with the heavy congestion, or two years ago when gas was hovering near $4 per gallon, that I explored the options of using public transit. I have two options available to me when it comes to using public transit. I can either catch a bus in Bowie to the New Carrollton metro or drive to the New Carrollton metro and park there. Neither option works particularly well for me.
There are two considerations for me in choosing my mode of transportation, time and money. Regardless of which method I choose, my commute time just about doubles. Instead of taking an hour or so, public transit would take 2-2.5 hours of commute time. So the time factor loses. The second factor is cost. Each option of public transport would cost me over $12 per day to use the transit. Parking at the New Carrollton metro would add parking to the overall cost. Either way, using public transit would cost me $60 or more each week. More than double my current cost. So the cost factor loses as well.
For me, the option of giving up my car just doesn't work. If the transit system were more convenient or more cost effective, it might be worth my while to use public transportation. Unfortunately, the left would prefer to make the cost of operating our personal vehicles more cost prohibitive rather than making the public transportation system more convenient. I don't think there were too many folks observing "Car Free Day" in the area, because I didn't notice a drop in the amount of cars or congestion on the roads today.