Well ladies, I got the job! But now my little commute of 15 minutes with the daycare dropoff... is going to be at least 25 minutes (with no daycare stop and without traffic haha). Plus, construction on the freeway exits around my new office starts up in a few months, and will run for a couple years But taking the train is only 35 minutes with a bonus of a little walk to my office building.
My train station is an 8 min drive from my house and 5 min drive from daycare. So I'd still have to drive to the station. And it only runs every half hour.
In theory, I could also carpool with someone else in my neighborhood, but she has a daycare drop off too and neither of our cars can handle all 3 car seats.
Basically, for those of you that take public transportation (or carpool), is it worth losing some convenience/flexibility? How do you handle daycare drop off and pickup? What happens if you have a daycare emergency?
pomelo / 5563 posts
I think in your situation, I would take public transit. I'm in a similar situation and have drive, but the difference for me is that the public transit I would be taking is the bus, which goes on the same highways I'm driving on, so traffic is going to be a factor either way. Public transit would be cheaper, but not necessarily faster or more convenient. For you, it sounds like it will be faster and more convenient, so I think the trade off of less flexibility is worth it. If there was a daycare emergency that absolutely couldn't wait for the next train you could take a taxi - it wouldn't be cheap but in that kind of huge emergency you probably wouldn't care. Most things (kid has a fever, etc) can wait a little bit. My job is, best case scenario, a 45 minute drive from daycare (assuming my kids get sick at 3am on a weekend ) and it's never been a problem.
watermelon / 14467 posts
If I could take public transit, I would do it, hands-down. Theoretically, I CAN take the bus from my daycare, but it's a lot faster for me to drive, even with traffic (the bus would take AT LEAST an hour). So in an ideal world, I would drive to daycare, park, drop-off, and then take the bus.
I did take the bus downtown when I was on jury duty and it was awesome. I loved it and it only took 30 minutes because it was an 'express' line.
cherry / 196 posts
In your situation, I'd take public transit. I'd probably drive kiddo to daycare, park at the station, and let the daycare know that I'm 40 minutes away in case of emergency (you won't be the only one who can't respond within 10 minutes if daycare calls). Maybe check in with friends/family/neighbors to see if there's someone you could call on who works or lives closer to daycare who could respond quickly if there was a true emergency.
I loved being able to ride public transit when I lived somewhere it was possible. You can actually do something on the train (I read so much). Now I feel like commuting by car sucks up two hours of every day that could be put to much better use.
grapefruit / 4466 posts
I take public transit to work everyday and love it, and will continue to do so after I have a baby in January. We're lucky that we got a spot in a great daycare right next to the station, but even if we ultimately find a different daycare I would try to make it work to cut down on the stress of commuting. I'm assuming that the public transit you have access to is reasonably reliable.
Another thing to consider if you do it is that you're allowed to pay up to a certain amount for public transit pre-tax, and many employers will subsidize a share of public transit. I end up after the subsidy paying $40/month, most of which is pre-tax.
grapefruit / 4988 posts
I have only ever taken public transportation (or walked) to work, so I'd obviously choose that. Hehe. Our daycare gives us an hour lead time if they call and need us to pick up the kids, so I would check on that. But otherwise, the situation you describe is similar to ours (currently, I can walk 30 min to work, and DH has a 45 min commute on public transportation). It's worked out fine for years now. We are lucky that our daycare is extremely close to our home and that has helped in terms of dealing with drop-off/pick-up since technically either of us can do it even though usually it's me.
pomegranate / 3658 posts
I'm a huge proponent of public transit and ride it every day. It enables us to be a one-car family, and even that car has less than 5,000 miles on it in the last 12 months. It's so freeing.
clementine / 873 posts
Ah! I had a huge response to each of you written up and it disappeared! Ugh. Well, basically you've convinced me
I'll check the notice period from daycare and make sure my brother in the area is alright being on call. Charging up my kindle paperwhite to get more reading in and considering going down to one car!
@periwinklebee: Do you know if the pre-tax has to be done through the employer? I negotiated my salary to account for them not having a program for public transit. Is it like an HSA where I get the taxes back when I file my taxes if I pay with post-tax dollars?
grapefruit / 4466 posts
@codeitall: Mine is done through my employer. I don't have to do anything, the cost of my transit pass is just taken out of my paycheck, and they automatically take care of it being pre-tax. I don't know exactly, but maybe if you don't have this option it can just be claimed on tax forms ex post or something.
coffee bean / 33 posts
Your situation sounds much more appealing to me. My choice was between 40 minutes drive if I go alone, and 1 hour and a half with the car pool. But I still took the car pool. It allowed me to make friends and that extra time helped me sort out a few things for myself. The greatest feeling was that I was doing something for my environment and I consider it the best investment in my child's future. A healthy earth. So I would encourage you to take the more eco-friendly option for your overall benefit.