I have written earlier about my woes of long commute to work and how I eventually adapted to it. Here is the story continued.
For a long time, I had been contemplating on reducing commute by car and taking the office bus to work. But the bus comes to my place at an unearthly hour of 7.20 in the morning and I feel hard pressed to make it. For the love of early morning sleep, I ended up driving to work more often than otherwise.
I have long since had a guilt residing somewhere in a corner - about overusing the car and consuming more resources than I should - like they do it in the developed world. A couple of weeks back, the guilt came out of its corner and amplified itself in my head. I was occupying an entire car that was meant for 5 persons(I am definitely not for car pools, I really can't sync up to somebody else's timings). I was consuming too much fuel and I was occupying too much of the road. And I decided to put extra effort to (get up early and) catch the bus. Last week, it worked pretty well and I managed to take the office bus to work for the first 4 days in the week. And I proudly remarked to a colleague - "I will take the bus tomorrow too and it will be the first time that I will be taking the bus to work for an entire week". I had spoken too early - I ended up waking up late and driving down on Friday!
This week, I was quite determined again. But I find it really terrible to wake up early and rush to work and I had to do something about it. Then came the idea - try out public transport. And so this Tuesday I decided to put it to action. I got up leisurely and took my time to get ready, had a sumptuous breakfast(which would otherwise have happened at office) and slowly walked into bus stop. To my surprise, I got a bus in hardly a minute or two and there was enough room to sit comfortably. A book to read, a nice window seat and excellent mild sunny weather of the rainy season made the whole journey very pleasant. And it took me only 5 minutes more than what I would take to drive. Pleasantly surprised, I repeated the experiment for next two days. I discovered that my home and office are very well connected by buses and the journey is pretty comfortable. Now I have decided to do this whenever I feel like spending a little more time in the bed!
I knew I was spending a lot on fuel when I was driving but neither cared nor bothered about it ever. After taking public transport for last few days, I thought I will do some math and check how much I would save with it. The figures added up to quite a number. At a conservative estimate, I spend Rs.150 for fuel on a round trip to work. I used to drive to work for 2 to 3 days in a week. Taking an average of 2.5, it adds up to almost Rs.20,000(2.5 * 52 * 150). Now, I should be able to take a good 2 week vacation with that money! The money I would spend on public transport will come up to around Rs.2000 and that still leaves another 18K. Nice! Anyway, the savings is not big enough to tempt me to give up driving, but the comfort of public transport is working as an excellent carrot.
Not to stop at this, I have decided to go a little further on this effort and start using my bike for short distance that does not need a car. A plan to buy a bicycle has been there for a long time and I am trying to revive that too. And finally, as I have always seen, I am quite bad at sustaining a wave. This time, I am hoping to.