Light rail ledger: ride the rail to save money, mind

A group of researchers studying commuters heading to McGill University in Montreal found drivers to be the most stressed out. 

Drivers get less enjoyment from their commute than people who walk or take the bus, according to the study. Between the 3,800 people who drive, walk or take public transportation, drivers were most likely to agree strongly that “the only good thing about traveling is arriving at my destination.”

Here in the Twin Cities, unlike many metropolises south of the Canadian border, we have a somewhat respectable transit system. The buses, particularly in Minneapolis, run frequent enough. And the light rail is a great way to cut between the downtown areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis. 

Aside from the stress riding the rail saves, there’s always the practical matter of the almighty dollar. Making your way via Metro Transit saves you mullah. 

A monthly unlimited pass costs under $100. That barely covers a month of insurance and gas money, let alone maintenance and repairs. 

Yes, time is a cost, and public transportation takes way longer than driving. But, as the researchers of the 2015 study “Traffic Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior” pointed out, driving commutes are the most unpredictable and have the most unexpected delays. This requires drivers in the study padding their commute by an average of 21 minutes.  

The highest stress levels for drivers was largely due to unexpected delays. 

Ride public transportation. Save a buck. Save your sanity.