There I was on my day off about to place my hard earned money for the week into my savings account when a sense of gloom came over me. It’s the same feeling most New Yorkers get every month, every week and sometimes every day. It’s a voice that cries out from these underground burrows made for iron horses. The depression that set in stemmed from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, once again reminding me it was time for my monthly donation.
Whether it is to go to work, go to school or to wander the subway tunnels looking for a rat to eat that annoying St. Bernard your roommate owns, the use of public transportation is the easiest way to get around in the city. Lucky for us the MTA provides us with the shittiest service for the highest prices.
A fare is $2.25 but a single one way ride is $2.50. So even though a fare is $2.25 and let’s say you just want to go one way, you’re going to have to spend an extra quarter to get there. Trust me; this makes logical sense when you’re not the one being fucked in the ass.
Next we have the almighty Unlimited Metro Card. First we have our seven-day unlimited pass for $29. This deal already sucks if you’re constantly buying four of these a month ($29 x Four Metro Cards a month = $116) because you can just get the 30-day unlimited ride Metro Card for $104. That’s $144 you could be saving every year (well, at least until the MTA decides it’s time for another fare hike).
As I did some research I found more unlimited Metro Cards like the seven-day bus plus Metro Card that will cost you $50 a week. It has the same function as the seven-day unlimited pass except you can use it on express buses. (Apparently we have them in this city. I wouldn’t know since I can out walk 90% of them.)
All in all you might find yourself spending up to $1,300 a year in public transportation. Which begs the question: Are there any alternatives? Well, kind of. It really all depends where you’re traveling to everyday.
- Get a Car: If you’re going far your best bet is to save up some money and buy yourself a used car. I went on Craigslist and found a 1996 Chevrolet for $1200. Granted that there’s probably something wrong with it you’ll have to repair, car insurance and other issues that come with owning a car but that comes with the territory. It’s a hell of a lot better than having to sit with strangers while Pete, the homeless guy that smells like urine panhandles for some change. At least with a car Pete will offer to clean your windshield for money. (See, things have already taken a positive turn.)
- Get a Scooter: Hey, you saw “Spider-Man 2,” even Peter Parker had a scooter and he was obviously broke throughout that whole trilogy. Now I don’t know much about scooters so I did some research and a brand new Vespa scooter will cost you anywhere from $3300-$7000. Add in the gas money and possible repairs down the line and this option just appears to be an uber-cool fantasy.
- Get a Bike: If you’re not too far from work you could try getting a bike. This works out pretty well because now you’re getting exercise, you’re not wasting money on additional expenses and bikes don’t cost as much. A simple bike just to get around shouldn’t cost you any more than $500 unless you want to get a BMX bike, an electric bike or any other specialized bikes.
In the big scheme of things you can choose what you’d like depending on your current situation. As for myself, I have my eye set on getting a bike. Now I just have to learn how to ride one.