As I sit here on the train during my morning commute, I think about the journey that got me here. In March of 2016, I took my job as Accounting Manager at Speakeasy, which is located in downtown Dallas. I thought, “This will be easy — I’ll give up my car and ride the DART rail to save some money and time.”
I live north of Plano, so getting downtown during rush hour can be a real bear. Anyone who drives on North Central Expressway (also known as Highway 75) knows how crazy the traffic can be. It can sometimes take an hour and a half for me to drive to work.
Despite this, I had a difficult time letting go of my beloved car. There’s just something about driving that makes you feel more in control. It took six months and two rear-end accidents for me to even consider taking the train downtown, but I finally let go and start commuting by train. I decided to look at the positive things about riding the train instead of focusing on the feeling of not being in control of my commute.
And there are so many positive things about riding the train. You can read, catch up on emails and texts, watch the world go by without having to pay attention to what’s going on around you, meditate and even take a nap (I haven’t tried this yet, but it could happen).
What’s great is seeing the standstill traffic on 75 and cruising right by, thinking, “That could be me.” You meet wonderful people on the train — some you see every day, and some you only see occasionally. You smell the sweet smell of perfume and cologne on those around you. (There are other smells as well, but I won’t focus on those.)
It’s a money-saver too. As a numbers person, this is probably the biggest incentive for me to ride the train. When you calculate the gas ($8) and parking ($12), it costs approximately $20 day to drive, not to mention the wear and tear on the car. If 75 is backed up due to an accident, the alternate route has tolls, which adds another $10 one way. The train costs less than half that when you calculate the gas ($4) to the station and the train fare ($5) for a total of $9 a day. Over the course of a week, you’re looking at $50 in savings.
Even with all the perks of riding the rail, I do still find myself gravitating towards driving to work, so on those days, I load up like a pack mule and plan to take anything I wouldn’t want to carry on the train. On the other days, I board the train, sit back and enjoy the ride.