16 June 2010

Thoughts on Bike Commuting

I'm thinking about becoming a bike commuter.

Well, more to the point, an multi-modal commuter.

First, I need to explain my situation, and why it has taken me this long to make this decision. I live approximately 43 miles from my place of business. Up till about a year ago, the closest bus service was 18 miles away. Now, there is a bus stop about 5 miles from my house.

You are probably asking yourself, "Why didn't you start taking the bus last year?" Good question. The reason is that UTA, our transit service provider - in their infinite wisdom - decided to set the departure time of the last bus heading towards home at 5:00 pm, the time that majority of people employeed in the US of A get off work. The bus stop is 4 city blocks away from my office, and my employeer is not flexible in the work-schedule area.
Back to our story. Crunching the numbers, it wasn't cost-effective for me to drive to the bus stop, and pay for a monthly bus pass compared to driving to work. After riding on a vanpool that unfortunately disolved because the number of riders dropped below the number required to keep it active, I managed to carpool with a couple of co-workers. I still had to drive the 18 miles to catch the carpool, however, and I had to drive all the way in every other week.

Then my schedule changed.

Starting in July, I will be working 8:00-4:30. Not a huge change, but significant in a couple of ways. First, the co-workers I currently carpool with didn't get the same schedule. One of them is still 8-5, and the other is 9-6:30. I could still carpool with the one, but since he drives a full size blazer, he doesn't like to drive in, so I would probably be driving all the time. I don't like driving. The second significant change is now I am able to catch the bus that leaves downtown at 5:00.

So, there should be nothing stopping me from getting a monthly bus pass, biking the 5 miles to the bus stop closest to my house, riding the bus to work, and reversing the process in the afternoon. I'll save gas, and won't have to drive. I mentioned I don't like driving, right?

Except, I'm training for a triathlon. I can run anywhere, and I'll be biking almost every day. It's just the swimming that will prove to be a problem. The nearest pool is in Lehi. 17 miles away.

Maybe I'll be a bike 3 days a week, and drive to the pool on the other two. The pool is only a mile or so from the bus stop that goes to SLC.

Any thoughts?

1 comment:

Mom said...

Sounds like a pretty good solution to a sticky problem.