Life in the Carpool Lane: A personal experiment.

Photo by chinota |

One thing that many of us can relate to is commuting. Whether it be for a job, school, or anything in between, we have all experienced the constant travel from one destination to another.

I recently started taking a course in Toronto and found myself facing the commuters dilemma. Do I drive to work, or do I use public transportation?

I let February be my own little experiment in various public transportation methods, to see what would work best for me. Living at the far end of Hamilton, I found myself spending upwards of $26 a day in gas to AND from Toronto (an hour or so away) with a large vehicle (not counting getting stuck in traffic, of course). I don't know about you, but that's a little too expensive for me.

With that, I looked into taking the bus. A GO bus day pass was $19, which would only take me part of the way into the city. To get to the school, I had to add on a $3 train and subway fare for each trip. That makes $25 a day per trip - only saving one dollar per day. Ugh.

It looked like money wasn't going to be the deciding factor in this experiment. So, I decided to look at one of the most important factors in transportation: time. In the end, The GO bus is what I found to work for me (theres a departure every 20-30 minutes) due to one huge benefit: getting to use the carpool lane. 

I've been a huge fan of carpool lanes since completing this experiment. Nothing feels better than a clear lane on the road because you just happen to have more people in your car. When I was driving alone to toronto, I was always envious of those getting to use the prestigious carpool lane (to the point where I considered dressing a mannequin and strapping them into the passenger seat).  

This lane has obvious benefits, that were evident from experience. Less stopping and going, and less hopping lanes to get ahead, were clear advantages that make me feel more calm and have less road road. Also, a clearer lane allows less chances of rear ending someone, clearing the road of unneeded accidents.

Overall, I highly encourage you all to drive in pairs (or more!) and use the carpool lane. Save yourself the gas and spare testing your patience. Better for the environment, your punctuality and your stress levels!