Saturday, December 31, 2005

It's the little things...

Want to know what my favorite $4.50 indulgence is? It's not something that can be ordered with soy milk, extra foam, or in a size venti. But it is long and smooth and and goes down easy!

Bet you didn't guess: it's the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel!

Non-New Yorkers may not appreciate this, but if you are taking a taxi from Manhattan to most parts of Brooklyn, you have a few options: the Williamsburg, Manhattan, or Brooklyn Bridges, which are free, or the Battery Tunnel, which costs $4.50 in each direction. It depends on where you live, but the tunnel is sometimes a much faster way of getting there, even if it costs more! I don't take taxis very often. Usually, when I come back to the city via train or even from JFK Airport, I'll just take the subway and then walk a few blocks. But last night, I got back into Penn Station still feeling tired, yucky, and flu-ey, so I knew I wanted to take a cab. And when the driver asked me if I wanted to take the Manhattan Bridge, I said to take the Battery Tunnel instead, which was a pleasant surprise for him, I think. Usually people don't want to spend the extra money, so they have to make their way down through stop and go traffic and over the bridge into more stop and go traffic in downtown Brooklyn. But instead, my driver got to zoom down the West Side highway and through the tunnel, onto roads with no traffic at all. I was home less than half an hour after I got off my train, and he made a good fare in a lot less time than it usually takes, so everybody was happy! Someday I'll actually calculate the mileage on both routes and see if the cab fare actually ends up being lower by enough to offset the $4.50 toll-- I kind of doubt it will be. But sometimes just getting home faster is worth it in itself.

4 comments:

sixpack said...

Totally. Brooklyn feels much closer to Manhattan when taking the tunnel.

I figure I would have spent the $4.50 some other way in regard to transportation.

P.S. I love the $1 MTA holiday fares!

Anonymous said...

Isn't the fare a function of both distance and time? It seems like being stuck in traffic would easily put you over the $4.50 you spend on toll. Perhaps I misunderstand you in some way - like not factoring in the time of day when you usually take this trip ...

Madame X said...

You're right, the meter does go by both distance and time when you're not moving, but I think it ticks off much more slowly by time, which is why cabbies hate getting stuck in traffic. I'm not sure how much time in traffic it would take to rack up $4.50 on the meter.

Caitlin said...

are you sure your favorite indulgence isn't a venti gingerbread latte with soy? Because I'd understand if it was...