CHICAGO (CBS) — Rising gas prices have everyone thinking about the best way to get around. Public transportation is highly touted, but is it the smart way to go?
CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole checked out some of the options to get some answers.
Pain at the pump has drivers adding up the costs of getting to work in something other than their own cars.
For starters, Vince Gerasole began in west suburban Naperville, about 31 miles from Chicago’s Loop and laid out the options of driving versus taking public transportation.
The 31 mile journey in moderate traffic takes about an hour and at current prices, a CBS 2 SUV used $6.17 cents in gasoline to make the trip. Parking would cost a lot more for most drivers.
On the other hand, taking a Pace bus to Naperville’s Metra station and then a train ride into the Loop would cost $6.75, with no parking fees. Also, there is less wear and tear on your car. The drawback is that the total travel time is an hour and a half.
But what if you live in Naperville and work in Schaumburg? The options are a lot trickier
Schaumburg is 28 highway miles northeast of Naperville.
Driving is straightforward and, in rush hour traffic, the trip can take one hour. On Tuesday, the trip cost $5.34 in gasoline one way.
Taking public transportation would mean taking a Pace bus to the Naperville Metra station, a ride all the way into the city and Union Station, a walk to Ogilvie Transportation Center and train out to the suburbs again, this time to Arlington Heights. From there, you would need to connect with another bus headed to Schaumburg. The total cost would be $13.50 and the commute time would be much longer than driving: just five minutes short of three hours.
In short, taking public transportation is a convenient option to travel within the city or from the city to many outlying suburbs. But several other suburbs don’t have easy public transit to the city and traveling from one suburb to another by public transit can get even more complicated.