Here’s how January went in regards to my commuting expenses.

Car

My car started the year with 183,093 miles on it. I didn’t drive it the first three days of the month, driving it for the first time on the 4th, when I started classes. I filled up the tank on the 5th for $45 even, and drove the car only for 148 miles during the whole month, mostly because I got my license suspended and taken away. Car-related costs included $9 in pay-to-park fees before I was able to get my parking decal at the university, and $60 to have my license reinstated after my record was found to be clean and in order. I have an appointment to get a new driver’s license now in mid-February.

Initial Miles – 183,093
Driven Miles – 148
Total Miles – 183,241
Car Expenses – $114

Bike

I ended up spending $116.62 on the bike this month due to the repairs it needed after being hit by a bus on my very first bike-n-bus commuting day. I did not take the bike on the bus for the rest of the month, instead riding it around Miami Beach for errands. Now that it has been stolen, this expense will likely be a lot higher in the coming months once I find a new bike.

Bike Expenses – $116

Bus

What I have done the most this month is take the bus, something I hadn’t done with any kind of regularity since my days at FIU in 2000-2002. Back when I first moved to Miami my means of mobility were a bike and the bus (sound familiar?), though back then it was a cheap Huffy/Mongoose/Something mountain bike from Wall-Mart and not an Electra Amsterdam. Miami Dade Transit Metrobus service has improved significantly in the last decade, costing now a bit more but being easier to use thanks to the Easy Card, a reusable, refillable transit card. Much like my last time around as a full-time bus commuter, I’ve found the university offers discounted unlimited monthly passes, which I will start taking advantage of in February.

I got my Easy Card the day after my bike was hit by the bus for a total of $12 ($2 for the card, $10 transit credit). Before this I spent $10 cash in bus fare. I later filled up my Easy Card with $30 worth of transit credit, which lasted me until the morning of Feb. 1st.

Bus Expenses – $52

Review

As a point of comparison, last year’s car expenses came out to about $80 for me. I was driving a lot less, so I could get away with putting $10 of gas every couple of weeks and have it be fine. I also didn’t have to pay money for license reinstatement fees or such, which is really what made a big difference in my car expenses tally. Likewise, last year I didn’t have to pay for bike repairs. A direct month-by-month comparison may not be feasible, but at least I can get some compare/contrast going.

I wasn’t planning on going car-less so soon, but it worked out that way. Aside from having to factor about 1.5 to 2 hours to make it to/from school, I’m perfectly fine with continuing with a bus routine for my transportation. I will get a new driver’s license, mostly for ID purposes and so that I can drive my wife’s car when we go out, but I intend to continue taking the bus.

Onwards to February.

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