Traffic vs Transit
Now that I am fully responsible for the car in my driveway, ownership and all, the choice between driving and taking public transit to get from Guelph to Toronto is not such an easy one. I much prefer the experience of taking transit, but the reality is driving is significantly cheaper. For me to take Greyhound and TTC would cost about $20 each way ($15 ticket plus local fares) whereas driving is about $10 worth of gas. That’s a huge difference and it frustrates me. The socially beneficial option that reduces traffic and associated pollution should be financially justifiable for everyone, including car owners.
Such is the state of public transit in North America. Assuming it is even functional enough to be useful, it is too expensive to be fully taken advantage of. In my area, the intercity bus companies seem to be in some sort of non-compete agreement that leaves consumers continually dissatisfied. Meanwhile the passenger rail system is cripplingly underdeveloped. I have read that this is because those who own the tracks prefer to keep them free for commercial use, which is more profitable. I can speak positively of the City of Guelph's local bus system, but again as a car owner (by necessity I should add, there's no public transit option at all that lets me visit my parents) it's simply not financially justifiable.
The reason I find all of this so frustrating is because, as mentioned earlier, I much prefer the experience public transit offers. It is relaxing. There's no risk of fender benders or tickets. And your hands and mind are free for productive use. I think a higher price is fair for those reasons, but not double. On the other hand, I hate driving in Toronto so much that I am almost willing to pay an unfair price. In the end my decision making process for this situation is a pragmatic one. Unfortunately, no matter the outcome I find myself frustrated.