Monday, October 1, 2012

Commuting and Pleasure travel on New Mexico's Rail Runner train


                                Photo:  Courtesy of Rail Runner    Photographer:  Ernie Montoya 

Rail commuting and pleasure trips bring savings and convenience into life.  Trapped in a car in Southern California for 28 years, logging 2-3000 miles a month commuting in a vehicle, working in the field, the pleasure of rail commuting or pleasure traveling makes dollars and sense. As New Mexico is now our home, Rail Runner is our choice. 

When looking for ways to cut expenses, enjoy a relaxing trip rather than stress on freeways, it makes every bit of sense to use the resources available to make a trip most enjoyable. The scenery is beautiful, seats comfortable, and the added thrill of riding a train is a "no brainer".

Comparing cost and time to our destination was done.  We live in New Mexico now, where the fabulous Rail Runner commuter train lives. The Rail Runner runs between Belen, NM and Santa Fe, NM with bus transit and shuttle services at most locations or at least access to them.

A comparison - Commuter train vs vehicle.    Travel distance 100 miles.

Our trip is approximately 96 miles round trip. 

By vehicle - it takes us 1 hour and 20 minutes (sometimes more if there is a traffic snarl), traveling on a busy freeway, at the cost of $17.- 20. fuel cost round trip in one or the other of our vehicles, vs $2. each, (senior fare) round trip on a weekend on Rail Runner.  A shuttle bus is present when we arrive, and the services are free. Fares are only slightly higher during the week, and still pale in comparison to driving.

On the commuter train, it takes 1 hour and 10 minutes.  We are leaving and arriving at the same destination for this comparison. The rail commuter offers free bus transit services. 

Entrapment - or vehicle dependence as we call it,  makes no sense - particularly when options are available.  If we make 100 weekend trips a year to this destination, which likely we will, - by travelling on the train, we will save 1300. - 1600. a year. 

What uses can anyone find for 1300. - 1600. a year?   There's no doubt that most people could find ten dozen uses for the money saved. Does it make sense?  We think so.  The added benefit to our environment could be multiplied to enhance a cleaner air for future generations is also a goal.