I just checked for a friend on train ticket prices from the Detroit Area to Chicago. $70 each way, $140 round trip. That does not compute. If he were to drive, I'm going to estimate it would cost $80 in gas - and he'd have the convenience of having a car once he's here. The airlines give me $160 with taxes and fees included, at a quarter of the trip time.

I love taking the train, but in this case it seems that it just doesn't make economical sense. Especially for more than one person. I wonder why...

§481 · July 23, 2008 · Life · Tags: · [Print]

5 Comments to “Amtrak: Fail”

  1. Rob says:

    $80 in gas! Damn…

  2. Henry says:

    $80 in gas, yes, but you forgot a number of things:

    1. Parking fees.

    2. Wear and tear on your car — this can run as high as $2 per mile, depending on how much you paid for it, how you drive it, how carefully you maintain it, and so on.

    3. Insurance and license fees for your car.

    4. (Hard to quantify.) The aggravation at bucking heavy traffic and work zones, especially around the south side of Chicago.

  3. @Henry – you bring up some valid points:

    • Parking – in this case, no. He can park in my driveway.
    • Wear and tear – yes. It’s a 300-mile drive one-way.
    • I’m not suggesting that Rob could forego owning a car in the first place (he would still need it to get to work). Therefore, things like Insurance and License don’t apply to “cost” in this case
    • Agreed – traffic can be a bitch, especially along that corridor
  4. Tom parker says:

    Try booking a month or more in advance. It drops to $29.00 each way.

  5. @Tom: Thanks for the tip – $30 one-way is actually very reasonable considering gas prices.