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The cost of trains

Whilst the price of my season ticket aims skywards at 5%+ per year, there is another cost associated with taking the train to work. When I first started work here, near Charing Cross station, it took 17 minutes to get to work by train. Now it takes 31 minutes. The increase is about 82% which is slightly less than the increase in my fares. I suppose the train company might argue that I'm paying extra because I'm spending more time on the train. I'm not sure I see it like that.

I work flexi time so if I lose 14 minutes each morning (not counting the evening loss because I'm generously equating that as my time) I have to work an extra 14 minutes. I do about 220 days a year which amounts to 3080 extra minutes, or just over 7 working days. If I charge a conservative £30 per hour, that's around £1,500 a year, on top of my ticket cost of around £900.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 4th, 2007 11:14 am (UTC)
Invoice them for your time.
May. 4th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
So why does the train take longer?
May. 5th, 2007 01:33 am (UTC)
On the other hand if there were no train then you'd have to buy a car which costs £3,000 a year to run, so in fact the £900 ticket and £1,500 of wage time on the train, you're still saving £600. But of course if you drove the car it would consume more than 31 minutes each way because of looking for parking, which would give you stress and lead to your spending more on lagers and other kinds of counselling, and make you less productive at work.

And if at work when you go for a crap you're stressed from driving and parking so you take the paper and read about the English cricket team being defeated by the Aussies again, and thus take 12 minutes instead of 8, that's an extra 4 minutes a day or 20 minutes a week or 16 hours a year, so you have charged your company £480 that year for doing nothing productive.

You can do all sorts of calculations like this, or you can just bloody well relax on the train and read an rpg. :D

Whinging poms!
May. 5th, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
I would relax on the train but we're packed in like sardines with no seats. The main beef I have is that the figures compare before and after privitisation, something which is supposed to improve service and offer choice to the consumer. A Hobson's choice as you point out, but one that has vastly increased costs.

The train now takes longer because timetables have been relaxed by the train companies. They are penalised for poor services (cancelations and trains on time being the two indicators) so instead of improving the services they move the goalposts. I think simonjrogers pointed out that steam trains were faster and offered a better service than the newfangled electric trains.

The car would cost much more than that in fact. It costs £8 congestion charge per day just to drive into central London and there is nowhere to park for less than £20 a day.

The bus takes around 45 minutes and costs £560 p.a but with roadworks scheduled to last until the Autumn it takes about an hour at the moment. Dulwich truely is a tubeless godforsaken hole.

Sounds like the convicts are rattling their chains again. That's the problem with the internet, you can put the oiks as far away as you like but now they've got your email address there's not much to be done about them. ;-)
May. 5th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
Ah, privatisation. Economic ratonalism, noun: A method by which people pay more for services and receive less; also often called, surprisingly without irony, "progress".

Here the definition of "on time" (for purpose of fines etc) is "within 5 minutes of listed time."

I always wanted to get a job interview with them, show up 4min 55sec after the time I was supposed to arrive, and if anyone complained, say, "but I'm on time - I'm within 5 minutes of the listed time!"
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )