I didn’t lose anything this time but I did mess up my monthly transport pass.
So a few weeks ago I wrote a post about the fact that we are not buying a car anytime soon and that public transport is cheaper and that I only pay ₪299/month for all my transport (buses and trains between Modi’in, Lod and Tel Aviv).
Well, yesterday, I wasn’t really paying attention when I asked the bus driver to give me a monthly pass. He asked if I wanted the pass to Ramle (which includes my office in Lod) and I said yes, when I meant to get the one to Tel Aviv (which includes everything between Modi’in and Tel Aviv AND my office).
I only realised after I got off the bus. When I promptly kicked myself. I mean really, it was almost ₪50 cheaper than normal and I didn’t notice. Really wasn’t paying attention.
What this meant was that I then had to pay separately for my transport to Tel Aviv for ulpan as well as my transport home. That’s 3 buses and a train which came to roughly ₪40! For just 1 day. Its almost the same as the difference in the monthly pass! And I make that trip twice a week! That would be ₪320 a month!
So this morning I stopped off at the Kavim office (again) in Modi’in and asked them, in Hebrew (yay me!), if they could refund me and then give me the correct pass. And they did. Thankfully they allowed me to get the correct pass and I am only out of pocket that ₪40 from yesterday. It would have been a crazy expensive month if I couldn’t fix my silly mistake.
A few people have asked me when or if we will be getting a car and if public transport is feasible in Israel.
We have been in Israel for just over a year now and other than two instances where we hired a car for a weekend, we have not driven at all. We would like to eventually buy a car, especially so we have transport for Saturdays/Shabbat when the public transport system is closed.
So far, relying on public transport has been pretty much okay. Having a well oiled (haha) public transport system is a huge help. Buses are plentiful and, mostly, run on time as do the trains. Its also quite a bit more cost effective than buying and maintaining a car. The downside of course is losing the convenience having a car gives you. Standing in rain that is coming in sideways while waiting for a bus is not fun. Taking children to friends and parties that are not within walking distance or on a bus route would also be a pleasure. But, I personally think at this point, not owning a car makes a lot more sense for us.
Recently, public transport was reformed to streamline costs of bulk (monthly) tickets and yesterday the pricing for public transport was dropped across the board by 17%. I now pay ₪299/month and this covers all my buses and trains between Modi’in and Tel Aviv. I worked out that on average I travel 1044km a month between home, work and ulpan. So if my calculations are correct (they very well might not be, I suck at math), then I am paying on average ₪0.28/km (R1.13/km).
According to Numbeo, the same distance traveled in a ‘Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)’ with an average cost of ₪6.38/l of petrol, would average ₪333 in gas or ₪0.32/km (R1.30/km). Already more expensive and that’s just petrol, never mind insurance, drivers licence, car license and general upkeep (and the cost of the actual car!).
So yup, for now I will continue to take public transport.
*For complete accuracy I would really have to take into account Paul’s transport costs too. He also travels by train and bus. But, we would only buy 1 car, so one of us would most probably still take public transport to and from work while the other would use the car. In which case I think my above calculations are reasonable.