Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can't Afford Public Transportation? Ever Consider a Scooter?

My last post on the MTA's ridiculous fare hikes has me considering my options. If you're like me and the subway will no longer be a viable option after May 31st, here are some more cost effective ways to get around NYC: 

1. Walking

I know, I know, I'm not exactly reinventing the wheel here.  And it's no surprise that New Yorkers are pretty used to walking.  But we all slack off a little, and sometimes the walk from 14 and Lex to 31st and Broadway can be daunting. But come on- do you really need to take the L train from 8th Ave to First?  The entire island of manhattan is only 13.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide (approximate). Suck it up. Plus, you won't have to feel guil
ty about drinking that iced grande latte later. You've earned it- the cost and the calories.

And for those of us who wear high heels- just carry a pair of Old Navy flip-flops in your bag. Trust me. You'll want them later.

2. Taxi

When it comes to getting from Point A to Point B, I think every
 budget conscious New Yorker considers taxis as the ultimate money waster.  But when you're in a group, that's not always the case, especially with the new fare hikes. After paying an initial fee of $2.50 ($3.50 during peak hours)  taxis have a flat rate of 40 cents per 1/5 of a mile, or every 60 seconds that the car is idle.  Check hop stop for an approximate cost, and as long as you're not going to Penn Station at 5:00 on Friday, go ahead and wave one down.  With a couple of friends in tow, you'll most likely break even- and get to your destination faster.

3. Scooter

If you have no qualms wearing a business suit while riding a scooter, you can save a ton of money on your daily commute. A $40-60 dollar investment on can get you a pretty sweet Razor Scooter, designed to carry up to 143 pounds.  Remember, they're called scooters for a reason: those things can move.  And if you get embarrassed riding it, hey, at least it's not a segway.

4. Roller Blades
These are a little more pricey, but consider them a long term investment. Most rollerblades run from around $60-100, but you can get a decent pair for $40 if you look hard enough.  Just make sure to try them out in Central Park before taking them to the streets- learning to brake is an art.

5.  Bikes. (Not.)

Please, don't ride a bike in New York. Dozens of bicyclists die every year in NYC from traffic related injuries, and I've heard horror stories from friends who own bikes here.  If you do decide to use a bike, PLEASE look up bicycle-friendly streets (such as 5th ave) and buy a helmet.

1 comment:

  1. It's extremely sad that you had to put the caviet against bikes in your post. It's true, NYC is not bike friendly in any sense of the word and that is quite sad. Being that they have as many people as they do, and create as much of the world's pollution as they do, you'd think the government could get off their asses and create proper bike lanes. But no. Instead, bicyclists are in one of the most dangerous positions among those utilizing the road.

    In Europe and some Northwestern US cities bike lanes on streets and highways have already provided a huge boost in numbers to those who commute to work on bike. It keeps the air clean, keeps you healthy, and keeps your wallet a little thicker. I just can't understand why the taxi town can't get on board to promote bikes.

    Oh, and woot to roller blades! Buy a dog and a pair of roller blades and then its not even a hassle to get around :)