Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Hop on the Bus (The economics don't work)

I tried, I tried...........

Since I moved downtown with the wife and Lil' Guy, I have decided to see if it would be possible for us to ditch the car and take the bus/subway on a daily basis. The wife works downtown, Lil'Guy's day care center is across the street from her and I work at Bay and Bloor..........so this should work, right?

Well, not really.

Let's look at it from both a cost and convenience point of view.

The distance of the drive is minimal, about 2 miles to the wife's office and then another 2 miles to my place - for a total of 8 miles a day.

It cost me $8.00 a day to park near my office. My car uses about 1.2 litres a day for this drive. I'll be conservative and say this cost me $1.20. Total cost of driving is $9.20 a day

A ride on the TTC is $2.50 for an adult and come January when Lil'Guy turns two, he will cost $.60. So right now this would cost $10/day to get to work. This will go up to $11.20

If we buy tokens in bulk, we can get this down to $2.00 a ride or 8 bucks a day for the wife and I. Lets assume that the wife and I live in a perfect world and always have tokens on us (In the real world, I always manage to lose tokens, but that is another story).

Assume that we would take the bus 2 times a day, 5 days a week - so about 20 times a month. Doing the math on this works out to $2 x 2 rides x 2 people x 20 days month = $160 a month or what it cost me to park at the present time.

Now add on the $1.20 x 20 days a month or $24.00 for Lil'Guy once he turns 2 and we are up to $184.00 a month for public transit

Buy a transit pass you say, well the economics on that are less attractive - $98.75 a month per person or $90 a month if you commit to an annual contract. So for the two of us to buy a monthly transit pass we are looking at a cost of $180 to $197.50, plus the $24 for Lil'Guy to ride the rocket and we are up to $204 to $221.50 a month.

Wow, I have a new appreciation for the daily struggles of people confined to wheelchairs who attempt to navigate downtown Toronto and the public transit system. Where to start.

Let go from the point of leaving the house in the morning.

1. Getting a stroller on a streetcar is less than fun. Luckily, we leave early (like 6:40 am early) so crowds aren't an issue. Taking a stroller on a streetcar during rush hour is less than fun. The only thing less fun than this is trying to transport a 30lb child over a longish distance with out a stroller (Just for reference, 2 year olds don't walk that fast and sometimes decide not to walk at all).

Some of the Toronto buses are easy to get on to because they have build in ramps and hydraulic systems that lowers the bus down.

2. So now we are heading towards the subway. Good luck getting to the platform. Not all stations have elevators to the platform. In many stations, the escalators only run in one direction, so if you aren't going in that direction, you are taking the stairs, stroller and all.

3. So now we have gotten to the our final station and have to get out of the station..................what's that no elevator? No escalator to street level? That's okay, I can just use the underground tunnels in the downtown core to get to the day care..........who cares if it takes me 3 times as long to get there underground as it does above ground.....I don't mind a good sweaty walk. At least there aren't that many stairs. I love the fact the the little elevators they have for handicapped people or those people pushing strollers often require you to alert a security guard who then has to come and personally operate the lift.


  • Total time to get Lil'Guy to day care using public transit- about 25 minutes. Coming home takes about 40 minutes in the middle of rush hour. Driving is much faster, even in downtown Toronto.
  • Total cost of getting Lil'Guy to day care using public transit - $9.20/day + plus the cost of cleaning what ever it is that you were wearing the day because it is filthy from carrying a dirty stroller up and down flights of stairs
  • Total cost of getting to daycare when you use cash $10.00 plus $1.20 for Lil'Guy = $11.20
  • Cost of driving to work - $9.20 (probably less as I highballed the gas) plus no dry cleaning casualties

So what would you do?


Anonymous Canadian Headhunter said...

I can't believe it only costs $8. to park for the whole day -- in the high-priced neighbourhood where you work.

2:08 PM  

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