I’m sitting in my car at a standstill at the highest point of the Westgate Bridge driving into Melbourne’s CBD. It’s 8:30 and I have a meeting in the city at 9. This won’t be the last time I anxiously check my watch over the next half hour. Stopped in what seems like the worst traffic I’ve ever encountered (it’s really no different from any other day) I wonder why I do it. Surely I could’ve taken a train, closed my eyes and relaxed free from stress knowing I won’t be the one in control of my journey in-bound. In reality, a public-transport trip has its own set of stresses attached, and it’s the reason why there will always be just as many road commuters as train commuters. So it begs the question: Which one are you, and why?
Throughout my university days and even parts of my early working life public transport was essential in getting to and from where I needed to go. I had a car and license, but spending a large chunk of my paycheck on petrol and parking fees was not something I was prepared to do. At the end of the day this would be an important factor to many commuters out there. For an adult, a full day Myki fare costs between $6-8.80 whereas 90-120 minutes in the car will likely set you back at least twice as much. This is even before considering parking fees, which many do have to consider.
Thankfully I wasn’t a struggling uni student forever, and once my financial situation became a little more comfortable, the first thing I decided I would change was to drive to the city for work each day. I’d had enough of standing between other passengers in uncomfortable heat or freezing cold platforms early in the morning, and I needed the privacy and comfort of my own car. My daily driver was by no means the most comfortable, but it was a space that I felt at home in. Whether it was slowly waking up on the drive in or beginning to unwind on the way home my day always became a little more tolerable when I dealt with the peak hour rush in my car and not a crowded train.
Of course trying to stay patient enough to deal with traffic at peak hour can understandably be too much for many commuters out there. Some may not have access to parking near their work and some may not even own a car at all. There’s a million and one other reasons to consider and it always interests me to imagine what situations others are affected by.
As I mentioned, being within the comfort of my own car was and is an important factor to me, and the great thing is how easy it is to really make your car feel like home. You would be surprised at how much of a difference a velvety soft floor mat might feel beneath your feet, or how the glare your eyes are exposed to is minimized by fitting a dash mat. Personally, these are the additions which make a world of difference for me, and since fitting a dash mat, custom floor mats and other accessories from FitMyCar to my ride, it’s more enjoyable than ever.