When I lived on the westside, I lived right off one of the Rapid stops. For those who are outside of Los Angeles, the Rapid bus is much like a regular bus line, except the buses are bigger and the stops are further apart. I would drive my car into work on Monday, take the bus to and from work the rest of the week, then drive my car home on Friday. For about $50 a month I could rely on the Rapid line to take me to work.

I figured that when I moved to downtown, that would be end of driving my car anywhere. I was excited about not driving, I was looking forward to taking the DASH to Union Station, then transfer to the Gold Line to get to work in Pasadena. I did that for about three months. I could afford to do this until September.

I called my car insurance to let them know that I was still taking the bus to work. Once they found out my car was going to be parked for extended periods of time in an outdoor parking lot, my rates went up! I crunched the numbers and figured out that driving to work was cheaper than leaving the car at home and taking the transit.

The numbers, without numbers:

Driving Public Transit
Parking $75 $75
Insurance $110 $250
Bus Pass $58
Car Wear $30 $30
Gas $120 $80

Totals $335 $493


How could I bring these prices down:

1) Look around for other insurance agencies. Did that!
2) Parking: Who says the mob doesn't exist in Los Angeles
3) Bus Pass: I need the EZ Pass because I go from DASH to MTA. Although, I've seen the regular MTA pass used
4) Car wear: Car wash one month, oil changes, maintenance
5) Gas: I already use the cheap gas and fill up during the week.

Overall - if I decided to get rid of the car, then I could save a bunch of money. But, until downtown gets a grocery store, Dodger stadium gets a practical public transit station, and there are more restaurants that are open past 7 p.m. that I don't have to be half naked to get into...I'm keeping the car.

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