Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Dilemma

Now that I'm moving to an apartment about an hour walk from the office, and plan to walk on a daily basis (unless I buy a bicycle, but that's a topic for another, future post), I'm not sure what to do...

So far I've been buying monthly, unlimited use subway passes, which recently went up to $104.  When I take the subway to and from work every day, except most Fridays when I walk home from work, and take the subway into and out of Manhattan almost every Saturday and Sunday, it's worth it.  I know I'm getting my money's worth out of each one.

MTA card, with my handwritten
activation date so I remember
when to buy a new one...
But I'm planning to walk to and from the office, which cuts out about 40 subway trips per month, that's is the bulk of the usage.  And in pure financial terms, the $104 will no longer be worth it.

However, there's the non-financial aspect...

Part of the ease of getting around is that I have an unlimited use card.  I don't have to think twice about heading into the subway to go anywhere, it's already paid for, and using it ten times won't cost me more than using it once.

I know that if I had one that wasn't unlimited I would weigh every decision to go somewhere.  For instance, if I was thinking of going to a restaurant for some meal I felt like, I'd calculate the extra $3 each way as part of the price and probably not go.  Or, if I was walking around somewhere and got the whim to go somewhere else, like in Manhattan but then wanted to see the Gantry Plaza Park across the river in Queens, I'd think that even a short, one station subway ride would suddenly cost me $6 and not go

I can imagine that if I didn't spend the extra money on an unlimited use card, I'd spend more time sitting in the apartment, wishing I could go out, but being too stingy to spend the lesser amount on subway fare.

For "quality of life" it's probably worth it, to me at least, for the more expensive, unlimited rides per month card, even if I don't use the full dollar value in rides.

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