How do you Do it? Season Long Bus Rides or Else?
Been thinking I made a mistake, or idk...
I do have a season pass to Hunter. Since I have a pass I can't just go to another mountain because pass is paid why pay for a day lift ticket elsewhere.
So I have to arrange my schedule to whatever bus service is available for Hunter and also pay something ranging from $40 to $50. This is ok if you go once a month but I go frequently 6-7 times a month, on the weekends mostly, this puts me around $500 a month on bus fare. Considering there are special days holidays etc. I'll then end up going more which then pay-more-on-bus-fare.
Aside from the financials, teenagers on the bus can get really annoying, talking loudly at 5 in the morning and they just don't shut up all the way to the mountain (god I don't know why kids are so happy). They also play movies which is really cool but they crank the volume, c'mon nobody wants to watch a movie at 5 in the morning you just want to close your eyes, and worst of all some buses' seats are so lil you can barely get in....
I don't really want to buy a car but next year I am so not buying a pass at Hunter, definitely thinking Killington(2 mountain deal) or Stowe (3 mountain deal), and now thinking how to do this without getting a car...
How do you guys do it?
i'd say, get a car. or surely you have friends who also drive? i have a group of friends and we kind of rotate the driving duties so no one ends up having to take their cars too much. we also usually make it so that the driver doesn't have to pay for gas/tolls, since they'll have to deal with cleaning and maintaining the car after. overall, we have a pretty good system going with that.
i know for sure that killington and stratton have bus services. not sure about stowe. btw, what's the 3-mountain deal with stowe?
i live in manhattan and i used to drive up, but after doing the math, i'm actually doing the opposite now: i leave my car and take the bus to the mountain.
it's cheaper for me if you calcuate the fuel cost, tolls, and the tiredness of doing a day trip (driving up, whole day at mountain, driving down). so starting this year i've been doing bus trips. OVRride is the place i go through-- good packages and options (bus only, bus+lift ticket, lessons, etc.).
buying a car involves other things i won't get into and costs that people don't think about: maintenance, insurance, parking, tickets, fuel, etc.
i even considered zipcar (i have a zipcar membership) but even with their "free" fuel, it's still cheaper to take a bus if going solo or with a partner. if you have a group of like 4-5-6 people, then maybe a car might make more ecomical sense if splitting fuel and toll costs...
that's my thought.
(P.S. how's hunter? haven't been there in years, but considering going up this weekend to test my new boards since it's so close (2.5hrs on bus)...)
right well my problem is basically, parking! and where I live people also scratch cars etc. I have had two cars and everytime I said this is the last time in this city, so thinking what to decide.
maintenance, insurance, fuel these all on my mind but how often you go? once or twice a month or quite frequently, because $50 to the mountains close to NYC but $65 to Vermont (bus only) if you go say 5-6 times a month, on the weekends, it will be something around $400-$500 on bus fare
and zipcar is a no-no, they are very expensive, free-fuel is stupid since you can do 180 miles a day so where is the benefit in that, it's only good if you need to drive somewhere for 2 hours and then come back, a 4 hour ride
I always find cheap car rentals on kayak
i live in brooklyn and i have my own garage so owning a car isn't as big of an issue for me; if you're in manhattan i can totally, absolutely understand.
Wow $500 or more a month for bus rides seems expensive
You can buy a roundtrip plane tix out west for around $300 from NYC/Newark
If you go with 2 or more friends it seems cheaper to rent a car...
We have been able to rent SUVs for 30 per day including taxes non-holiday weekends with unlimited miles, that plus discounted lift tix. Divide that by 2 people of more... Better if some of you own a car...
We wanted to do the buses but they were too expensive for 2+ people plus we have to wake up at 2 or 3 AM to catch the bus at 3 or 4 or whatever.
Maybe the buses are a cheaper option when going by yourself or if you do not like driving for several hours
If you go that often, I'm not sure if you have a core group of friends that go as often as you do. If not, and you're usually going solo, the bus-only (no lift ticket bundle) option will make sense to you. That's my situation:
Distance from NYC Midtown: 215 miles each way = 430 miles total
Current Gas Price: $4.00/gal (regular; more for high octane)
Car's Fuel Economy: 25 miles/gallon (being generous here, my car actual is ~21 hwy)
Gas Cost: $68.80
Tolls: ~$15? (GW Bridge is $13 or ~$11 with EZ-Pass) + Route 87 is toll road.
Wear and Tear on Car: @34 cents / mile (a "rule of thumb" # used to include insurance and maintenance) = $146.20
--- Total Estimated Cost of Transportation via Private Car = $230
@ 1 Person: $230
@ 2 person: $115 each
@ 3 person: $77 each
versus bus price (bus only, no lift ticket): $70 (source: MT Snow Sunday Day Trip Mar. 10th | | OvRride.com )
For solo, bus is much cheaper (get the bus-only price if you have season pass).
For 2, bus is cheaper
For 3, bus is marginally cheaper
For 4, car will be cheaper
Sorry, I work in finance, calcs like this is second nature to me; sorry if it's too much numbers for you haha...
Point is, driving up yourself is cheaper the more people you have.
But then, a car has limits to how much people + gear you can take (bigger SUVs like Suburbans can carry more people & gear, but also have less gas mileage, so you need to adjust accordingly).
Personally, I don't have friends that go every freakin' weekend. Maybe a few times a season. Otherwise it's solor or with one other friend who's as hardcore as me. And that's back in my peak when I used to go every weekend...
your analysis makes sense from an economic POV, though the numbers are slightly on the high-end IMO. if i drive my corolla with 3 people to mt. snow, the gas/toll costs end up be no more than $40 a person.
also, you have to consider that if you drive your own car, you have complete control over when you arrive and when you leave. for some, there is a lot of value in that.
lastly, buses arrive late and leave (relatively) early, so let's say you're losing about an hour of riding time. paying a premium to get around this also has value. question is, how much are these worth in dollar terms? everyone has a different threshold.
Best advice is find some friends and carpool. Be open minded and have fun. You might be surprised who would be interested around you
There are non-economic factors as well; different value to different people.
My personal example, I hate driving long distances and I get very tired at night and I have a vision problem where my eyes get lazy and I see double when very tired driving at night. So, I'd rather just crash on a bus and wake up at my destination. :) So that has a lot of non-monetary value for me, to not drive. Which is why when a bunch of friends go up, I never drive or bring my car; I just chill and sleep in the back seat and pay for gas/tolls and be done with it... LOL. :))
Plus I don't keep my car in the city ($600/mo parking, no thank you!) and it's at my sister's house in Queens, so it's a whole song and dance to go get my car, which I drive maybe 2-3 times a month these days, if that. (FYI I'm a car guy - used to have 8 cars at one point in time when I lived in a house on Long Island, I can't get myself to be 100% car-free yet, lol, cos I need a car to race/track in during the summers, my non-winter hobby).
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