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This week: how do you feel about your car?

If you like, skip to the end of this post to take the poll about your car.

Last week: how long is your commute?

Last week’s fun post asked how long your commute was.

And the answers turned out to be rather close between all the choices! After 195 votes, here’s the result:

  • 34% said “30 minutes to an hour”
  • 33% said “an hour or more”
  • 21% said “15-30 minutes”
  • 12% said “Less than 15 minutes”

I guess this shows that most people on the blog must not live close to work, since over half are commuting over 30 minutes every day!

In the comments, we found that Stefan and Ric had the longest commutes — 2 hours each way or more (eep!).

And while Sungsu said his travel time was 0 minutes (you must work at home!), cycling kept Alexwarrior‘s travel time down:

About 8-10 mins when I get to work by bike (almost every day except the few days a year it snows hard), about 20 mins when I take the bus if I factor in not checking the schedule before going out the door (the #25 is pretty frequent at peak times so I don’t usually check the schedule). On the one hand this is very convenient, on the other hand I don’t get nearly as much reading done as I could if I lived farther away and rode a bus for longer!

Amy also mentioned reading time on transit in her comment:

Depending on my transfers, about 40 minutes each way, door to door. I read or listen to podcasts, which makes it go faster. If only I didn’t have transfer, I’d get more reading done! The M-line makes it about 20 minutes faster than it used to be. Now if only the 135 were a B-line, then my occasional trips downtown after work would be faster (nudge, nudge. I’m going to keep mentioning that every chance I get until it happens ;-) )

Cliff mentioned carpooling could help save a little time (and much money).

Another interesting commute I did for a couple months while I was attending BCIT was a carpool. My friend, a construction worker at BC Place, drove over to my house and then we took my vehicle to Downtown, utilizing the HOV lanes on St John’s, Clarke, Barnet, Inlet, and Hastings.

The time savings on that one was actually a small loss, about 10 minutes, but my costs decreased significantly. To Carpool, I was given $30 a week.

And lucky Sally actually had her commute time drop recently.

Thanks to the Canada Line, my commute from South Surrey has been cut by 30 minutes each way. At the end of the day, I can now get from my desk to my kettle at home (tea is a priority in my house) in exactly one hour!

Feel free to check out the original post to read everyone’s comments!

This week: how do you feel about your car?

Hey, I haven’t asked any driving questions around here yet! So here we go — this poll is inspired by a question I saw at hunch.com, a customized recommendation site. I thought it was quite thought-provoking, so here you go!


23 Comments

  • By Sally, January 22, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

    I rarely use my car anymore thanks to a UPass but it is part of who I am – it’s red, it’s hot … just like me, really! And I do give it a little pat when I see it sitting forlornly in the gararge!!!!

  • By ;-), January 22, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

    I find myself using my car more because I spend too much time on this blog.

    With the nature of this blog, I’m sure the results will be skewed.

    Anyways, I would like to do away with the expense of a car, but it’s just not practical….
    -carrying a weeks groceries is challenging on transit
    -too many retailers don’t welcome backpacks or large carrying bags into their stores
    -there is no place to store valuables (laptops, electronics, cameras) when your destinations forbids their presence
    -travelling short distances with large groups is not cost effective
    -some buses won’t pick me up because they are too full when I want to use the service
    -the Canada Line does not run frequently enough in the evening for me to make transit connections
    -some bus stops and sidewalks to my destination are suicidal with all the bikes using sidewalks as their speedway
    -90 minutes is not enough time for some trips
    -paying a zone premium for short hop on the border is not fair, it’s cheaper for me to drive

    Where’s my keys?

  • By Cliff, January 22, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

    Where would I be without my car? By filling my truck up south of the border, using it is not much more expensive than using transit.

    The only downside to driving a car and not using transit is that it can be draining, especially if you have to travel during peak-hours.

    I would utilize transit more if parking was free and close to transit. There isn’t much of an incentive to taking transit if I have to pay for parking and then on top of that pay for transit. (That’s why finding that free parking on Sea Island was so lucrative to me).

    An idea that was being floated around a while back was issuing subsidized transit passes to anyone paying for vehicle insurance (Like U-Pass). Such a system might make the difference between parking Downtown or paying for parking at a SkyTrain station. I wonder what happened to that?

  • By Ella, January 22, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

    I need a car occasionally as a part of my job, but on a usual day I commute by bus.

  • By George P., January 23, 2010 @ 2:08 am

    As a general rule, I justify the use of a car over public transit if any one or more of the following conditions is satisfied:

    – I have to haul around heavy equipment or large amounts of cargo that would be unwieldy on a bus,

    – I have a tight schedule to meet or multiple stopovers to make that would prolong the trip unreasonably if done on transit,

    – I plan to give rides to friends to speed up their trip, or save them from hauling THEIR cargo around on transit,

    – I’m heading somewhere that isn’t served conveniently or frequently by public transit, or

    – There is a significant discrepancy between the time a trip from A to B takes on public transit and the time it takes to perform that same trip with a car. This applies mostly to situations where connections on transit are poor – awkward connections, long waits, or tight connections that risk prolonging the travel time if missed.

    Unfortunately, that last condition applies to my commute to work, especially when I work late, thereby meaning that I use my car much more often than public transit for my day to day business. I live in Richmond and work at YVR. The drive to work is barely 15 minutes, 10 in light traffic conditions; even with the added time it takes to get from the YVR staff lot to the terminal with the Canada Line since we got shafted to YVR-Boondocks Station (aka Templeton), the total travel time from my front door to clock-in is maybe 20-25 minutes depending on how long I have to wait for that godforsaken train. (Which I am only just now starting to accept as a fact of life.)

    Try to make the same trip by transit, without the 491? Ohhhh boy. I have to take a bus to Richmond Centre, and hope traffic on Westminster doesn’t hold us up too long. Then I have to get on that godforsaken train (Lord help me if I worked a morning shift, the crush of bodies!), and transfer AGAIN at Bridgeport Station to the train going to YVR. This second transfer, from the Waterfront train at Bridgeport northbound to the YVR train at Bridgeport southbound, is not too bad during regular hours – typically the wait is about 4 minutes.

    The trip to YVR in both the morning and the afternoon takes about the same amount of time – roughly 40 minutes. Okay, not too bad, even with the two transfers, if I really didn’t feel like driving the (maybe 5?) kilometres and burning a buck or two worth of fuel, I’d do it. (Could have done it faster with the 491, but no way in hell with the 98!) But now try getting home after hours. For starters, making a good connection from a Waterfront-bound YVR train at Bridgeport northbound to a Richmond train at Bridgeport southbound is IMPOSSIBLE after the frequency decreases to 12 minutes. And then there’s the 401 which has usually been scaled back to one bus per hour at the time I get off work. So what’ll it be, if I finish at 2315, would I rather have a car waiting for me in the lot at YVR-Boondocks Station that I can drive and be home at 2335, or sit first on the platform at Bridgeport and then on a cold bench on Three Road waiting for my connections and be home at (if I’m lucky!) 2430?

    A coworker of mine, who lives very close to me, recently discovered this unpleasant fact for herself. My response? “I could have told you that.” Conclusion: “if you don’t have a car, make sure you’ve got someone you can call for a ride.”

  • By Chris, January 23, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    Who needs a car in Vancouver? When I moved to the city I became a member of the Co-operative Auto Network, and haven’t been happier – less stress and less costs.

  • By Paul, January 23, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    I had a car last year. But decided to park it. So for now I’m taking transit to where ever I go. I’m actually enjoying it being able to just sit back and not worry.

    Since I live in Vancouver. The connections are fairly good except late at night after midnight. Missing a bus can be a huge disaster. Although my trip home from work depending on if I miss the first bus or have to walk. I can tell what route I will need to take.

    For grocery shopping I just bring my backpack. I can usually get everything inside it. It also makes me buy less, which means I eat less :)

  • By Donald, January 23, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

    My wife and I have one car, in 2009 we spent $12,000 considering depreciation (which happened to equal car payments this year), insurance, gas, maintenance, parking, and a few other things. I’d get rid of it and go with a car sharing program if I didn’t prefer driving stick shift. My car is my pride and joy for pleasure drives, but for the sake of my sanity I would never drive to work. I tried carpooling for awhile and I ran kicking and screaming back to the comforts of West Coast Express, Skytrain, and bus.

  • By Jordan, January 24, 2010 @ 11:22 pm

    I wasn’t sure where to post this but hopefully it will get read as its on the most recent post.

    I was just doing lots of errands today and I was puzzled why there were so many diesel buses on the trolley bus routes. I saw several (at least 6!) 17 Oak/UBC and 4 UBC which were all diesel buses! I didn’t see a single trolley bus today! I certainly prefer the trolley buses and I was wondering if anyone knew why this might be?

  • By lala, January 25, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    the 135 is fast enough the way it is. We just need more service on Sundays. From Hastings & holdom to burrard stn is only like 35min or less. and to me that is plenty fast. If they decide to implement a B-Line service it will servilely screw up connectors. Please leave it the way it is.

  • By Rvie, January 25, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

    I never had a car in my entire life. I never wanted to get a driver’s license ever, even when I turned 16. Call me a coward but to me I felt that I’d just be risking my life (and the lives of other people) driving a car to school/work and back every day. That’s why I only take transit, and I love it. =)

  • By Reva, January 26, 2010 @ 2:18 am

    I and my husband are in the same boat (bus?) as Rvie. Never had a car, never got a drivers license, never needed them. Our transit system takes us everywhere we need or want to go. And no I was not paid to say that. :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, January 26, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    Jordan: I’ve asked CMBC’s planning department and here’s the answer.

    Some of the trolley routes were dieselized on the weekend to accommodate construction projects on Richards Street (a crane) and at the UBC Trolley Loop. It is common practice by CMBC, particularly on weekends, to dieselize a trolley route if a construction project impedes the trolley overhead.

  • By Eric, January 26, 2010 @ 11:17 am

    I don’t have a car, however I’m going to have access to my parents’ car for the next little while and will definitely be driving to the skytrain rather than taking the 321.

    I don’t intend to have to rely on a car when I move out, so hopefully I find somewhere nice that is a little more strategically placed with respect to transit, and my destination(s)…

  • By Donald, January 26, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    Eric, use http://www.walkscore.com to determine the walkability of wherever you plan to move to. :) It’s not completely accurate but it gives you a good idea. My next place will definitely have a walkscore of at least 80.

  • By Eric, January 26, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

    Woo, 15/100 at my current location :D

  • By Reva, January 26, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    Neat, Donald! My place got a score of 82/100, no wonder I like it so much. :)

  • By zack, January 26, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

    Yikes! got 51/100. That kinda sucks, even though I like the walking distance at my location.

  • By zack, January 26, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

    Yikes! I got 51/100. That kinda sucks, even though I like the walking distance at my location.

  • By zack, January 26, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

    Ooops, sorry about the multiple posts, I pressed the “Enter” key twice.

  • By Ivan, January 29, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    I typically do not take transit and drive 98% of the time. The main reasons for driving is:

    1. I have to pay for the car itself, so I have to make use of it.
    2. Driving gets to destinations faster – much much faster than taking the bus.
    3. Most importantly, in my own car, I have full control of the schedule and have full privacy, listening to my own music, and not having to deal with strangers on crowded buses.
    4. Taking the bus is very very stressful as it keeps stop and go to pick up/let off passengers, and sometimes if it goes ahead of schedule, it just stops there to meet the schedule like on 41 Bus. If I was driving, I would have been home already.

    The only exception where I can take transit is rapid transit or Sky Train, whereby the destination is closeby to the station.

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