Painfully Paying for Parking

Today it happened again: I just knew I’d have to work late. For me, that means I cannot take the bus. I drove my car to work today and paid the $9 fair, which just seems so UNfair.

When I began working downtown, I had the best intentions for taking the bus on my commute. For the longest time, it worked pretty well; I can catch the bus to work a mere block away from home and only walk about 3 blocks to catch the bus downtown. In the cases where it’s a frozen windy hell outside, it’s pouring rain or it’s 90 degrees out and the A/C’s broken, taking the bus sucks. Or you know those mornings where you sleep in just a tad past your alarm because you barely slept? Yeah, those mornings make it difficult to catch the prompt 7:15am bus. And by the way, my route is very limited – I get one bus in the morn’, one at lunchtime, one at 5:15pm and the final at 6:40pm.

There are several Pros to taking the old MTC: it’s only $35 monthly, I save on gas money, there’s less wear and tear on my car, I don’t have to fight traffic, I have time to read and I even get a little exercise. Some days, however, I just can’t beat a climate controlled car or the flexibility to leave for work or go home when I wish. Admittedly, I’ve been driving to work more and more often lately.

The ramp I park in typically charges $9 for your normal work day, which literally hurts me inside to pay. But get this! They have a monthly rate of only $159 and their sign advertises it as a REDUCED RATE. Riiight. So it’d save me about a buck per day on the daily rate (or around $21/month). No thanks. It’s still lots more ‘spensive than my hybrid solution of combo-bussing and driving as needed. It’s a good thing I’m a numbers freak! Inquiring minds want to know: How do they arrive at $9 a day? Does it seriously cost them anywhere near that for me to park there? Does it cost half? Shouldn’t I get a car wash or even a window wash for that price? Hell, I’d settle for a daily catcall on my way in to work!

I’ve shopped around a little and found few good options around the Accenture building. Of course, there are some $90-$95/month lots. Those lots those tend to be uncovered and honestly, I’m not a big fan of needing to unbury my car from a foot of snow after a long hard day on the J-O-B. I guess I’m paying for my comfort, which occasionally, I can justify.

I sure wish I was in tip-top shape enough to ride my bike to work. How dandy that would be! I even have the non-freeway route down to a T. Maybe some other day in some other universe…

4 Comments so far

  1. Erica (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 9:16 pm

    I confess, I really only ride the bus to go downtown for entertainment. Up and down Hennepin (or sometimes Lyndale). One of these days I might branch out and take it down Lake Street instead. I’ve gotten burned on parking tickets downtown just enough times. I refuse to pay to park in a lot or that $7 event fee in a ramp. So I’d rather just pay the $3 round trip, which is about how much I’d put in a meter, but I wouldn’t have to spend the time driving around looking for a spot. Maybe I’ll even be done in enough time to catch a ride back home before my transfer expires.

  2. randomrunnings (unregistered) on July 17th, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

    My work pays for our parking in a ramp in the warehouse district, but not for a bus pass. I feel like I should take the bus for all the listed reasons, but hey.. free parking.

  3. Dave Dash (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 7:22 am

    I’m a big advocate of biking in to work :) You should get a bike rack for your car, and drive half way to work and bike the rest as a start.

  4. Heather K (unregistered) on July 18th, 2006 @ 7:26 am

    That’s an excellent idea…I think I have some investigating to do.

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