According to the American Public Transportation Association’s August Transit Savings Report, an individual in a two-person Boston household can save $13,045 a year by using the MBTA and living with one less car. These numbers are based on savings in gas, parking, insurance, and the like.
This is obviously shoddy science and flat out wrong. The savings were calculated primarily using the price of a monthly transit pass. This math obviously fails to account for the hidden costs of riding the MBTA:
- $722 a year in dry cleaning bills. Because you sat in gum. Or the air conditioner broke on a 90 degree day in July. Or some wildebeest wedged himself into the seat beside you and the thigh fat that wound up in your lap oozed cottage cheese all over your khakis.
- $513 a year in soap and hand sanitizer. See above. Plus the fact that you never know what the hobos and BU kids have excreted all over the hand holds.
- $2549 a year in additional liquor. Because the goddamn red line was late for the third time this week. Or there was a switching problem at Park Street and hitting up the Beantown Pub for a few pints sounded more fun than standing on a platform jammed with angry people in their business casual best.
- $827.87 a year in entertainment costs. You’ll want to have a book with you for when you inevitably get stuck between Central and Harvard for half a fucking hour.
- $1200 a year in medical costs. Because packed buses and trains are basically big metal petri dishes on wheels during flu season. Plus you never know when some jerk is going to use a baby carriage as a battering ram.
- Fuck it, tack on yet another $1000 for booze. Because you never know when regular service is going to be replaced by a fucking shuttle bus. Make sure you budget for it.
- $623 a year in taxi costs. Because sometimes you don’t want to have to take a bus to a train to another fucking bus. And sometimes you have to get to Jamaica Plain. And sometimes the bus just doesn’t show up.
- $45 a year in shoe laces. It touched the floor of the orange line? Burn it.
- $26.33 a year to give to Keytar Bear. Face it, we all get sucked in eventually.
Well, well, well – doesn’t that put a serious dent in our supposed savings? Those additional costs total $7506.20, which knocks the real savings down to $5538.80. I can’t believe they screwed this one up. It’s just basic math.