Monthly Archives: January 2012

Do you really save anything with TTC?

By the time I get home tonight, it will have taken me 2 hours and 20 minutes to get home. This is due to the subway not running just long enough for me to miss two buses. If I were driving this time of night, the longest it would take is an hour.

On the subway there was a poster that said CAA estimates it costs between $8900-$12000 annually to own and use a car. For me, I pay $104 a month for a pass, plus $111.80 in tokens for the second zone. That’s $2709.60 a year. I know I don’t go downtown every day of the week, but that is using the price of a token when bought in bulk, which I don’t always do. That looks like a great savings.

But the bus never runs on schedule. I head to the shelter 15 minutes early every day because sometimes it arrives 10 minutes early or, like today, 10 minutes late. So on average I waste 50 minutes a week on that end of the trip.

I don’t know how I manage to do so, but on my trip home, I always miss my bus by 10 minutes or less. This costs me 20 minutes or more on average a day, or 100 minutes a week. And on nights like tonight when there is a subway delay, I lose an hour. This happens about once every 4 months, which is not bad. So between the three ways I lose time, I am behind 7920 minutes, assuming 4.3 weeks in a month. Right now I’m being paid $40/hour as a TA, which means this loss of time costs me $5280. That’s a grand total of $7989.60. Being a student, the tax break means nothing to me. Oh, add in the cost of getting a student ID for my student pass and it is over $8000.

That’s getting pretty comparable to the cost of having a car. And then I can drive it other places too.
I like the subway. I don’t mind the bus once I’m on it. But I hate sitting at Downsview station on a freezing cold bench waiting for a bus that comes every half hour because it takes 15 minutes to get from Yorkdale station to Downsview. Someone told me this type of delay at the end of the line doesn’t happen at Finch. What’s up TTC?

Well I killed the time waiting for it writing this. Time to line up outside with the smokers, who the TTC don’t seem to want to fine.

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Watch your bank account, and with whom you bank.

A couple of days ago, I need to buy more bus tokens.  So I made the effort to get to a Scotiabank machine to save myself some bank fees.  A day later, there three ABM withdrawls for amounts that you would never be able to withdraw from a bank machine along with $15 in service charges were debited to my account.  The total was almost $1000.  When I phoned, the gentleman on the phone said that the account had been noted for possible fraud and that I had to go to my own branch to fill out a request to get my money back.

So today I went to my branch and filled out the form.  They told me it would take a month to get it back.  Which really sucks.  Last year we paid in advance for gymnastics classes and the school went under before any of them were used.  I had paid with my BMO MasterCard and they refunded the money first and investigated second.  I guess maybe it is time to move my banking, especially with Scotia raising their fees yet again.  It’s not like I don’t have my choice of nearby banks.

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Sleepy

It is just past midnight and I’m in the lab.  I had to figure something out, and the experiment takes several hours.  I wanted to take the  kids to swimming and dance lessons this morning, so when you start at 3 PM you work until 1 AM. It looks like it is turning out correctly, so I’m happy.  I won’t know for sure until the data is analyzed…which takes all night.  I’ll look at it tomorrow night or Monday AM.

It used to be that I never left the house after dark.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because my life didn’t afford it.  Oh, correct me, I’m wrong.  I went outside after dark when I took the kids to beavers in the winter.  I was still home in time to have the kids in bed around 8 PM.  Now not only do I have time to work into the wee hours, which doesn’t happen that often… I’m mostly out of the lab around 5:30, I do get to go out and have fun after dark on occasion.

We survived the holidays.  Having Mom here to visit was great.  She got to spend lots of time with the children. Going forward, between now and the end of February I will see Monster Jam, Rick Mercer, and the trio of Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall, as well as present a poster of my work in San Diego.  For a short month, it is going to be packed.

Jack asked me this morning if I ever thought my kid would ask me if they were just dropping me off at the subway or if they were coming with me.  Hehehe as if.  I would like to see some real snow, though.  It would be really cool to be in the woods behind Grandad’s house cross-country skiing. Ah well, that time will come again someday.  For now, I’ll look forward to being at an ocean-front hotel in San Diego in the middle of winter.  For someone who had never travelled outside Canada until 2 years ago, this is another unusual thing.

Ok, the thing is almost done running.  Nytol…

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