We thought that sending our youngest to the local community college would save us some money. This commuting business is making me wonder if it is worthwhile. Trimet, our glorious transit overlords, want people to take the bus, so somehow they talked PCC (Portland Community College) into restricting the size of their parking lots. Make it difficult to find a place to park and perhaps people will be more inclinded to take the bus. So I sat down and looked up the bus route.
According to Trimet's calculations, it will take 84 minutes to get to the Rock Creek campus of PCC. They figure people walk really slow (1.8 MPH) and they don't count the time between arrival and the time class starts. According to my calculations, he would have to leave 100 minutes before class starts in order to get there on time. That is an hour and forty minutes. If he drives, it takes him 20 minutes to cover the 12 miles.
Figuring 55 cents per mile (the IRS business rate), that comes to $6.60. The bus fare is $1.50. So driving costs an extra $5.10 but saves an hour and 20 minutes each way. That comes to $3.80 an hour, which is less than half the minimum wage. Of course jobs are few and far between, so maybe $3.80 an hour is a good deal.
On the other hand, you could use the IRS's rate for charity work which is only 14 cents a mile. In that case, the excess cost is only 18 cents, and the rate at which you are saving is only 13 cents per hour.
So we buys kids books, send them to school, tell them to study hard, and then we tell them their time is only worth 13 cents an hour? I think there is something wrong with this picture.
15 hours ago