This summer, in an effort to save some money, I decided that I wouldn’t buy a metropass. In Toronto, it costs $3 to take the subway, or TTC, one way. The metropass costs $135. To make it worth your while, you would have to use it 1.5 times per day. And that’s to break even. (I note here that metropasses in Montreal are only $80.)
Let’s face it, if you’re from Toronto, you know that the TTC is terrible. It’s overcrowded, it’s almost always delayed because of “signal problems,” and if you’re going south at all during rush hour, forget about getting a seat.
As I’m sure you can imagine, it wasn’t a tough sell to force myself to find alternative methods of transport come months with nicer weather. I don’t think anyone really expected the rainy, chilly summer that we had, but hey – it wasn’t “feels like 45 C” like it was last summer.
I didn’t buy a metropass for June, July or August. In that time, I would allocate myself $40/month for TTC fare, in case of evening work or social events, rain, etc., but I wouldn’t necessarily use all of it. The distance between my place and work is exactly 7KM. I walked most often, but also biked (until my bike broke in August) and occasionally ran. During this time, I was also training for some trail races and my half marathon in October.
Here is my end of summer total:
Walk: 281 KM
Bike: 180 KM
Run: 319 KM
I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it! Sure, there were times when I needed to get somewhere quickly and walking wasn’t an option (the walk takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes), but most often I really liked it. The morning I found to be the best. I started listening to a few new podcasts (if you like This American Life, check out Love and Radio), and even found a new coffee shop that I’d never had a chance to visit before as it was approximately half way through the walk. (Boxcar Social – they also have microbrews in the afternoon/evening and a killer patio out back.)
I loved the commuting so much, in fact, that I haven’t bought a pass for September, either, and I don’t know whether I will for October. The mornings are chillier than the afternoons, and if it’s a bright, blue sky with a slowly rising sun, there’s not much better than a walk to stretch your legs in the morning and get your mind working.