Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Where it’s available, try public transportation! :-)  0

Posted on October 4th, 2005. About Ramblings.
It is a huge topic of conversation these days – those outrageous gas prices. The media has thrown around phrases like, “Will we see relief at the pump?” or “The price of crude oil is soaring.” I empathize with small business owners, the airlines, and a few select others who suffer when the price of oil climbs. For all of the others – I just smile, because the thought going through my mind is: my spending on gasoline has never been lower. ūüôā
On September 21st my husband, Evan, and I flew to Las Vegas out of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Evan told me to pack lightly, because we would be taking the bus. Now, I am a believer in public transportation Рbut all of the way to the airport? What if it was crowded? What if the bus broke down and we missed our flight? We used public transportation to airports quite a bit in Europe, so I decided to give it a go in my own city. Each of us boarded the #14 bus with our small rolling suitcases, exited at King Street Station, and moments later caught the #194, which took us directly to the airport. That was it. So what did this bus ride save us?
Here are the standard parking rates at the SeaTac Airport:

Length of Stay


Total Charge

5 days $85 (savings of $15) $85
6 days $85 (savings of $35) $85
7 days – one week $85 (savings of $55) $85
8 days $85 + $20 (one day at normal daily rate) $105
9 days $85 + $40 (two days at normal daily rate) $125
10 days $85 + $60 (three days at normal daily rate) $145
11 days $85 + $80 (four days at normal daily rate) $165
12 days $85 + $85 = $170 (weekly rate x 2) $170
13 days $85 + $85 = $170 (weekly rate x 2) $170
14 days – two weeks $85 + $85 = $170 (weekly rate x 2) $170
15 days $170 + $20 (one day at normal daily rate) $190
16 days $170 + $40 (two days at normal daily rate) $210
17 days $170 + $60 (three days at normal daily rate $230

 Typically $20/day is charged, but parkers start to see breaks if they have parked for 5+ days. We would have been parked for seven days, so that is $85 (at the discounted rate) we saved by taking the bus.

¬†You may ask – but how much does it cost to ride the bus? A trip to the airport is $1.25 one-way. Not bad! It’s a little different for us, though, as I will explain.
The company that employs Evan provides all of its employees with a FlexPass, which allows “free” rides on all of the city buses and trains (and probably more that I am leaving out). Being a University of Washington employee, I continuously purchase what is called a U-Pass. Every two weeks, $9.50 is deducted, pre-tax, from my paycheck to pay for this pass, and it is worth every penny. It’s even less than this for UW students – for more information, click on the hyperlink above.
Here is what my $19/month buys me: 
  • Peace of mind in trying to find parking – a huge plus. In addition, I don’t have to PAY for parking either – another huge plus.
  • It buys me sanity – I don’t have to silently scream at other drivers who cut me off – because I don’t have to drive.
  • Less frequent car maintenance.
  • Try this one on – my friends and family have heard it already, but it’s worth repeating: I last filled the gas tank in my car on SEPTEMBER 6, 2005. That is two days shy of a month ago – and I still have 3/8 of a tank of gas.

I will not even begin ranting and raving about all of the huge SUVs on the roads, so let’s just say – regardless of what type of vehicle you drive – try leaving it parked and jumping on a bus! For more information on the Seattle bus routes, click here, or here, or perhaps here.

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