Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Two Changes Leading to the Implementation of Plan B

The thing that’s most different about me from the self of a few months ago is that I have in my possession a most marvelous thing, namely: a Tri-Met public transportation pass, good for the entire year on any busses and trams in the city. It has my picture on it (so that only I can use it) and lives in my wallet. Since I got it, I almost feel that I have been given wings. When I say “been given,” I’m afraid that’s a big part of the fabulous feeling. I was given it without cost. I feel like I can now get absolutely anywhere with the total freedom of not having to shlep a vehicle along with me.

I realize that most people experience such a sense of freedom for exactly the opposite reason – that they have obtained their own independent vehicle. But those people are delusional. One’s own vehicle may have signified freedom at one time in history, but today the reality is that such a vehicle comes with many more headaches than it taketh away. You have maintenance hassles, maintenance costs, parking searches and parking costs, fuel expenses, and the stress of bumper to bumper traffic, not to mention the health hazard of inhaling all those fumes, not to mention creating all those fumes in the first place and thereby ruining the planet for us all. (Need I go on?)

I have no idea how much such a pass would cost were one to purchase it, or if you can even buy one for a whole year or if they’re only available the way I got it. A few years ago I looked into buying a monthly pass, though, and what I found out was that in order for it to be a good deal, you’d have to use it at LEAST twice a day five days a week. That was the bare minimum. If you used it one time less than that, you were better off buying the ticket packets. The only way you’d come out ahead buying the pass was if you used it more than ten times a week.

When I said above that “I almost feel that I have been given wings,” the key word was “almost.” The other change that is going to bring me to the equivalent of owning my own magic carpet hasn’t happened yet. That is that I’m going to purchase one of those foldable bicycles that collapse down into a little carry-on unit. With that as my companion, I’ll be able to make up for all the places in which Tri-Met isn’t quite there yet. I’ll be able to ride part of the way to anywhere so that instead of waiting for two buses or trains, I can do one leg by Tri-Met and the other by bike. If there are already too many bikes on the bus or train, it won’t matter because mine will be so portable.

Tomorrow I’ll reveal my plan for obtaining the bike, which costs an arm and a leg, a couple of earlobes, an eyeball, a kidney, and other assorted vitals.


At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some employers (Providence, for one) give their employees FREE annual Trimet passes. Others, (OHSU springs to mind) subsidize annual Trimet passes for employees. What a fabulous benefit!


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