On Friday, I had planned to leave work a few hours early. Because the bus I ride runs every 30 minutes that time of day, some planning is involved. So after being too busy to make the 1:19 bus, I left at 1:44, which would give me 5 minutes to make the 1:49 bus.
As I was about 2/3 of the way down the street, I saw two buses at the stop, across the street. I looked at my phone and saw it was 1:47. Since it was early, I told myself it was unlikely either bus was mine, so I decided not to run the rest of the way down the hill, knowing the light would change before I got there. Fortunately when I got to the bottom of the hill, I saw the buses, now a block away, were not mine. Less fortunately was it was raining harder than a sprinkle, and I had yet to replace my recently broken umbrella.
Before I knew it, 10 minutes had gone by, as did five other buses, and I started to fret. Maybe my bus had come early. After all, the drizzle did not seem to be enough to justify a delay.
When a couple more minutes had passed, I was wet, cranky, and wishing I would finally get into a campus parking lot, so I could give up the bus. After all, in about 15 months, I had not only gotten into my third choice of lots (which I turned down), my name had also moved up about 40 people for my first choice.
Eventually, I had come back to reality. The bus showed up, 15 minutes late, and I got over my ire fairly quickly. However, ironically enough, when I checked my work email a few minutes into the ride, I saw an email from the parking people. I had gotten into my lot!
My first reaction was almost dread, because I would have to decide whether or not to take it. To some people, it would be a no-brainer; jump on it. But for me? I had some real debating to do.
I pay nothing to ride the bus, as my employer pays for it. A monthly lot permit costs $85. Sure, I paid almost twice that the first 4.5 months at my job when I parked at a cash lot (one of the cheapest!), but I have gotten used to what essentially became a $156/raise.
And I hate driving home in traffic, something I largely avoid busing it. Then there is the additional wear and tear in my car and more money to spend in gas.
But, of course, there are positives to parking. I can come to work late (which I almost never do because I drop my perfect-attendance-seeking kid off to school daily). If you get to the bus lot much past 8:30 or so, you might not get a parking space. I can also leave when I want. Having to time that with a bus has been an issue.
And this lot is a 2-minute walk to the office. So I would save time there (but would get less exercise).
I have to drive to and from the bus lot, so there is wear and tear on my car and gas expenditure.
I have 1.5 weeks to figure it out. If I turn it down, I can get back on the list. But the last person on the list is #47. When I got on the list 1.5 years ago, I was #37. (In the same amount of time, I went from 529 to 205 for my second choice, but if I turn down my first choice, I lose my second choice, as I understand it.)
I am slightly leaning towards yes. I figure I can still take the bus a few times a month, although I would be paying for a lot I am not using. But it is an option.