To some of us, there came to a point when we started to think whether we’d just commute to our destination (could be the office, school, etc.) or just drive our car. This question came to me a number of times and based on different situations, I’ve observed some advantages and disadvantages between the two options.
Let me start off with the daily commute. Probably the main advantage of commuting is how inexpensive it is. Compare your fare to your gasoline consumption had you brought your car. It’s very significant. Let me give you my personal example. On my way to the office, I would have to take 2 public transportations. I could ride 2 Jeepneys (Philippine public transportation) which would cost me only 15 Pesos (roughly $0.28) or I could use the Light Rail Transit and a Jeepney ride for a total of 19.50 Pesos (around $0.40). That’s only one way so the most expensive fare I could have in a day is around 38 Pesos (roughly $0.80). If I bring my car to the office, aside from the 100 Pesos of fuel, I’d have to pay at least 60 Pesos for the parking space. So that’s 160 Pesos (around $3.30) which is 4 times more expensive when I commute.
So that was on the personal financial perspective. Now if you look at it another way, when you use public transportation, you support the people who operate the transportation. You provide them income in exchange for your travel which is a two-way benefit. There is a good chance that you will meet somebody else who you know or even meet a new friend.
Now for bringing your own car, it is more expensive but there are lots of advantages to it (which almost justifies the cost). You can drive at your own pace and save time. If you use public transportation, you’d take more time to reach your destination as you’d have to walk towards the station, walk from your drop off point to your destination (if you bring your car, it is most probable that you’d park on or near your destination), you’d have to wait for other passengers to alight on Bus/Jeepney stops. In my case, if I commute to work I’d usually take 30 minutes one-way so my total travel time in a day is an hour. But if I bring my car, it would only take an average of 8 minutes (16 minutes travel time in a day). There are also cases where it’s hard to look for public transportation and the waiting time could be more than your actual travel time. When taking public transportation, I’d have to give extra time since I’d have to consider traffic and the distance of the route.
You would also be more comfortable driving your own car. You almost have full control of your travel time and path. You can go to side streets to shorten the distance (unlike public transportation where you have no choice but to travel through the vehicle’s route). You can even bring friends with you and you have more options in bringing more stuff. If you have multiple bags or even boxes, it’s so troublesome to bring it along and ride public transportation. It is far more convenient to take it with you on your own car.
So based on my observation, it does seem that bringing your own car has more advantages over commuting. But with the economic situation almost everywhere in the world, it may very well be feasible to use public transportation and the savings is so significant that you can allot more for other priorities such as food. In any case, plan your travel well. Try to save and be as comfortable as you can be. But also consider if you can afford the extra expenses of the luxury of bringing your own car. Take care everyone.