I’d never be able to handle commuting into The City every day via the Long Island Rail Road. It’s not just because of the commute itself, but because it would cost me a fortune from the Ronkonkoma train station all the way to Penn Station every, single, solitary day. It’s hard enough to pay for it once in a while, like I do now. Traveling into NYC is getting expensive on the LIRR, even if you’re going on OFF-PEAK times.
Every time I’m asked to attend an event for fun, or participate in a work-related event, I cringe these days. My first question to the organizers is: are you reimbursing for travel? If they say yes, I’m happy to attend. If they say no, well……I’ve got to sit down with the budget and see if I can work a round-trip ticket to Penn Station into my travel budget for work. It’s not always a YES, and I’ve had to decline more events than I’d like to admit to declining!
Now, if you’re not familiar with the train ticket prices, you’re probably thinking “what’s the big deal? Just go.” A few years ago, I’d say yes to everything when I asked myself that question “what’s the big deal?” However, a few years ago I wasn’t being asked quite as often, and the ticket prices for PEAK, as well as OFF-PEAK, weren’t as high as they are today. Let’s also factor into the mix where in NYC the events take place…..they aren’t always close enough to walk to from Penn Station, and sometimes they aren’t even accessible by Subway. Yes, the Subway doesn’t go everywhere…..tragic, but true. The Subway also went up in price, too. Still not crazy expensive, but none-the-less, not as cheap as it once was.
Here’s the deal. In order to take the #LIRR from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station during PEAK train hours, it’s going to cost one person to go one-way, $17.50. If you do an OFF-PEAK train, it’s going to be $12.75. Forget buying the ticket on the train, it’ll cost even more. I have never done that, but it’s another 7 bucks I believe if you buy from the conductors once you’re on the train. No thanks!
It’s also uncomfortable as all hell if you get the hard plastic seats, and honestly, not much more comfy when you’re in the softer seats. There’s still no WiFi on the train, and no place to really put a drink down. Parking’s a nightmare at Ronkonkoma’s train station. It’s just a pain in the royal icing, and I’d never be able to do it every day like my Dad did….he would do that every day, then work in the subways all day dressed in long pants, since he was an electrician down there. NIGHTMARE!
Well, as luck would have it, I was browsing through the paper recently and found something beyond fabulous! It’s 7 Bus. It costs $7 from my area! There’s no fee for parking, as it’s in the parking lot of a hotel. When waiting for the bus, you wait in a hotel lobby, not on the train platform in horrible weather! They’ve got big, comfy buses with comfy seats. There’s a place to put your cup of whatever you drink, and you can plug in your laptop, or whatever you need to plug in, because you’ve got your own personal outlets! Even better???????!!!!!!!!
FREE WI-FI people. It’s just pure awesome, on a bus. Guess who’ll be trying this for her next trip into the city? That would be ME!
It’s not just for “occasional” trips into the city, either. They have commuter passes for those who have to schlep into the city every day. It’ll drop commuters off at 40th & 3rd, 59th & 3rd, or 50th & 3rd. Great locations, with easy access to all public transportation in #NYC. If you use it to head back to Long Island, they’ll pick up along Lexington – there’s 3 locations: between 58th & 59th in front of Aldo Shoe store, between 46th & 47th at 480 Lexington, and between 39th & 40th in front of Tokyo Restaurant.
I highly recommend checking out the 7Bus website to find out the various locations you can get the bus from Long Island, into the city – they do require reservations, so don’t just show up one day!