I had jury duty today and did something I have never before done – I took the bus to downtown. I saw on the summons that you can ride Metro free with your jury duty summons and thought I would give it a shot. Wow! Talk about fast. A drive that would normally have taken around an hour at that time of day, took no more than 15 minutes. I saved around an HOUR AND A HALF of my life by riding the bus. …but wait – there’s more!

I calculated how many gallons of gasoline I would have burned and its current cost had I taken my truck. It would have burned 3.2 gallons if I was moving at normal speeds the entire way – considering I would have been moving at roughly 1/4 normal speed, I figure it would have burned at least 6 gallons. That’s a $15.00 savings… oh yeah add in the cost of parking at around $8.00 and we are looking at $23.00 saved by taking the bus. …you knew there had to be more, right?

That is also 6 gallons of fossil fuel saved. A full Metro bus holds about 60 people – that is 360 gallons of gas saved! For ONE DAY on only ONE BUS! Just think – if one person who worked downtown switched to riding the bus, it would be roughly 1,700 gallons of gas saved… if 60 switched, it would be over 100,000 gallons! The money savings for that one person (even after you take out the cost of paying for a bus pass) is $4,200!! For someone working downtown and making $35,000 a year, it is like getting a 12% raise.

Ask yourself:

Would you take the bus to work in exchange for a trip to Europe every year?

For a new hottub or a flatscreen plasma TV with a surround sound system every year?

For $4,200 less debt every year?

What could you use $4,200 for?

I am not suggesting that we all sell our cars and rely on public transportation – Houston is really not built to handle that. What I am saying is that you can find little things within your power to save money, save time, reduce fossil fuel usage, and protect the environment all at once. I am going to start tracking my mileage and see if I can reduce my consumption of gasoline. That is the ONLY thing that will stop the rise in gas prices – reduced demand.