|I live about an hour from the center of the world, New York City, yet one night a few weeks ago was the first time I had ever actually driven my car into the beast. In the past, I had driven to a train station, paid money to park, taken the hour-and-a-half train, then taken the subway to my final destination. The problem with this is (a) it's ridiculously inconvenient, and (b) it's overly expensive. It's inconvenient because most trains don't run on weekends around me, and I typically don't go to the entertainment and nightlife capital of the universe during the week, so I have to drive 30 miles to the nearest one that does. Then there's the fact that this whole process takes no less than two hours to accomplish, assuming I don't have to wait for a train (which I always do). And of course I have to keep checking my watch while I'm in the city, because the last train out is usually at some ridiculous time like 11 pm. And then there's the price. The number 36 is stuck in my mind, as in it's something like $18 round trip per person, which doesn't include parking or the subway, or food, or drinks, or a campsite for when you miss the last train.
Yet one night a few weeks ago, it was about an hour drive, I sat in about 45 seconds of traffic, it cost $8 to go through a tunnel, and it took about 15 minutes to find a free parking spot on the street. In other words, it was easy, cheap, and convenient. Every time I've used public transportation to get to the city, I've been disappointed. I'd like to be a proponent of a system that's affordable and convenient and environmentally friendly, but until a train can beat a car, I'll stick with the car. #travel