I don't think of myself as a money-motivated person. But I can't deny that it was cold green dollars that got my ass (finally) onto the Tri-Rail, South Florida's local, and admittedly limited, commuter train.
Once I was sitting on the train, many things came to mind:
1. I am not stressing, which is to say, I am not driving: dealing with general traffic, not to mention the inevitable jerk-off drivers, not to mention the inevitable "trying to kill himself and take half the highway with him" drivers. I am calm, I am watching the view.Turns out, Tri-Rail is a good deal the whole way round, life-wise, not just money-wise. So how come it took money to finally make me try it? Here's the last good thing about Tri-Rail, the one I'd figured out before I even bought my ticket:
2. I am not busy. Whether at that moment a pleasure or pain, driving is a task. On the train I can listen to music, read a book, or just stare into space.
3. I am getting a wee bit o' exercise. Climbing the stairs to the pedestrian overpass to get to the Northbound tracks might not sound like a big deal, but when you're a busy indoor-worker like myself, every little bit helps. Rather than sitting in traffic feeling my ass expand, I'm getting a little hike in.
4. I am comfortable. The train seats are big. Some of them have tables to set your coffee on, or pull out a laptop. Can't do that in my car. Nice.
5. I am moving faster than the cars on I-95. The Tri-Rail goes right beside I-95, and you can watch the traffic from the train. The train seems to go much faster than the traffic I saw! Woo Hoo!
6. I am with other people. I like hearing the dorky cellphone rings of Kreyol-speaking women I will probably never really get to meet. I like joking with strangers about the inconsistent announcements re: the late-running train, and the fact that the train, when it does arrive, is hauling so much ass it almost missed the station!
7. I got from my home doorstep to my work doorway in exactly one hour and 5 minutes. I've bettered this by about 15 minutes using my own car, but only when I've gone to work at 7am, before the traffic rush. I got there in 1:05 by train during the peak of the 9am-rush. That's fan-freakin-tastic.
8. The whole trip cost $3.50. At $4/gallon and 20 miles/gallon and 20 miles one way to work (another 20 miles back), it costs me $8 to drive to work and back. Tri-Rail is a savings of more than 50%. Over the 9-month school year, it will save me at least $300.As I said, I don't think of myself as money-motivated, but the last one is what did it. I guess I am not the woman I thought I was. I guess I just suck a bit more than I thought. Oh well. Now that I'm on it, I can only wonder why I haven't been doing this all along?