Monday, December 30, 2013

Expensive commutes through the XBL

The transit commuting tax benefit parity is expiring tomorrow, and Tri-State has a list of 24 "transit systems" where a monthly ticket can cost more than $130. In addition to the publicly owned transit operators they name, there are several private ones here in the New York area:

Company2012 tripsCommuter ticketMost expensiveMax costLeast expensiveMin cost
New York Trailways528,55010-trip x4Kingston$ 765.00New Paltz$ 660.00
Martz1,004,65144-tripWilkes-Barre637.25Panther Valley514.00
Carl R. Bieber Tourways (PDF)Unreported40-tripKutztown617.00Hellertown509.00
Trans-Bridge Lines1,237,30940-tripAllentown552.00MetLife404.50
Lakeland Bus1,613,36810-trip x4Andover467.60Montville340.00
Short Line (Stagecoach)4,314,78440-tripMonticello460.90Paramus225.95
Academy Lines4,121,596MonthlyForked River445.00Sayreville305.00
Suburban Transit (Stagecoach)2,810,885MonthlyPlainsboro435.00East Brunswick320.00
Community Coach (Stagecoach)587,93510-trip x4Morristown338.40Meadowlands200.00
Red and Tan Lines (Stagecoach)2,908,27420-trip x2Tomkins Cove286.20North Bergen115.60
DeCamp1,977,04140-tripWest Caldwell267.00Rutherford174.00

While many of these are owned by Stagecoach, with profits presumably flowing to Scotland, some of the other companies like DeCamp and New York Trailways are locally owned. Even if the owners take some personal profit from the transit benefit, they have been spending a lot of it here in the Tri-State area.

It's important to point out here that a large number of these "commuters" work from home at least a day or two a week. Many are small business owners, including artists and craftspeople, who travel into the city a few days a week to sell their goods.

Will these people still spend over $400 a month to sit on a bus on the Garden State Parkway or Route 80 for an hour and a half each way? Probably. They get to live in the Catskills or on the Jersey Shore and work in Manhattan.

And yes, the XBL and congestion pricing make it more worthwhile for them to sit on a bus than to drive in to the city.

1 comment:

BBnet3000 said...

Dont these buses still sit in a ton of traffic on the Jersey side? I dont suppose anybody in Jersey wants to try to solve that (meanwhile, with the volume of buses they have, the "empty lanes attack" would barely even apply).

When ive rode Megabus, they take all sorts of regular streets through Union City, and then get back on the freeway before the tunnel. They still manage to hit a lot of traffic. Its ridiculous.