Monday, March 8, 2010

Ringin' Up My Bus Pass Savings

I've mentioned here and elsewhere that I find it very hard to resist a good deal.

Last Monday was Transit Awareness Day, and I was the rider representative hangin' with transit folks from around the state as we made visits reminding state legislators and staff that through all that's going on in their world, New Yorkers across the state depend upon affordable public transit to get to work, to medical appointments, to school and to the grocery store every day.

By about 1 p.m., I was in need of caffeine, and we were standing in the hall between appointments when CDTA's Carm Basile mentioned to me that the next day they'd be announcing a deal with Price Chopper and their AdvantEdge program. Carm said that customers would be able to use their AdvantEdge saving to get discounts on a few of CDTA's bus pass products. Golby's interest piqued.

It must have been 10 minutes later when CDTA's release about the Tuesday press conference hit my email - but the nitty gritty details of the savings were not included.

Still, the anticipation of potential bus savings was an energy boost in itself.

Tuesday's announcement sounded good to me, I'd been interested in fare media similar to the 31-day rolling pass since before the 31-day became available, but never interested enough to spend $65 on it, so this was my chance to check it out.

Tuesday night, I was at the Madison Theatre for a meeting of the judges of the Knickerbocker Film Festival, and I got out of the meeting with just enough time to get to Chopper's Customer Service Desk before its 9 p.m. closing. I whipped out my AdvantEdge card and told the clerk I wanted to buy a bus pass with the new discount. She told me that unfortunately, she couldn't sell me a pass because they were only sold between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. when the corporate business office was open, but she could tell me how much savings I had earned.

$38 in savings. Sweet.

Wednesday afternoon, I returned and made my purchase. The first 31-day sold at Madison Chopper.

As I mentioned on Roger's blog, I think this new partnership between CDTA and the Chopper is a win for everyone -- even for those of you with cars, who want to live life a little more green-ly once in a while. The 10-trip pass is a good vehicle to check out life as a public transit rider.

Now let's hope Price Chopper figures out how to sell the passes after 5 p.m. and on weekends, so that those who work 9-5 can take advantage of the savings.

UPDATE - 3/10: I stopped into Price Chopper yesterday afternoon and asked if they've been able to extend the sale hours for CDTA passesbeyond Monday - Friday from 8-5. The answer: YES. The helpful clerk told me they can also sell them on weekends from 10-4.