Contemplating a daily Philadelphia to New York Penn Station... I know, crazy.
Are their any options I am missing before I determine it is way too costly? I keep getting a monthly ticket cost of 1314.00.
With that being said, I get a $250.00 commuting card towards my commuting cost, AND will get 10% discount from AAA. Thus, my cheapest monthly commute would be around 930.00
Are there any other options/ways that I can make this alittle but easier to stomach?
I do the commute 3-4 days a week...A Few Tips...
- You must use Amtrak, the NJT/SEPTA route will drive you INSANE before the 1st week is over....Amtrak is really the only way to do this commute and keep your sanity.
- Unless you're going to be commuting 5 days a week for certain, DO NOT get the Monthly Pass, Its a huge waste of $$$ IMO if you commute any less than 20 days a month.
- Buy your tickets while the 14-day Advance Ticket pricing window is open (14 days or more in advance). I buy mine for a month 1 to 1 1/2 months ahead of time. My monthly cost comes out to be around 800-850$.
- Hoard your AGR points that you build up, this will save you tons of $$$ should you ever need to change your plans at the last minute an take a train other than what you scheduled...You can use Points instead of paying those nosebleed walk-up fares.
- If you have decent Credit, apply for the AGR Mastercard from Chase, and book all your trips to the Card, to earn 2 to 1 AGR Points, plus you'd still get points for the Travel. Plus its easier paying the one bill a month. I earn approx 2.5-3K points a month from the Card.
- Once you become Select Plus status (10K TQP) you will gain access to the Acela Lounges in NYP and PHL, which are nice comfortable lounges while you wait for your train.... At NYP Acela Lounge also affords you pre-boarding to beat the Herds of Day Trippers to the train. Trust me you will come to cherish this benefit.
Commuting PHL - NYP is becoming more and more common place, as a matter of fact in the morning trains 170, 640, and 180 are filled solid with nothing but commuters doing the same as you, and there's a commuting community among all of us, a lot of us know each other on 1st name basis. Hopefully you'll be living pretty close to 30th Street station to minimize your commute to and from Amtrak as much as possible...Once I arrive back to 30th in the evening, I can either walk to or take a 5$ cab to my front door, helps make the commute doable.
Philly people are shocked when you tell them you work in NYC and make the commute several days a week, but NYC people are not moved in the slightest more are shocked when I tell them I get from Philly to the City quicker than people who commute in from other parts of the NYC Metro and its true. The Philly-NYC commute does have its reward, Philly Cost of Living while getting NYC Pay is Hella-Nice, even with the expense of Amtrak I still come out significantly ahead over actually living in the City.
Edited by lennyj17, 31 May 2013 - 12:00 PM.