As regular readers know, I do a fair bit of travel, both for business and leisure. I spend a lot of time en route–on planes, in trains and in automobiles (mostly taxis and airport shuttles).
In my experience, when I want to get from Point A to Point B, there’s usually at least two ways. There’s the cheap, slow way, or the more expensive, faster method. And you know what? The expensive route is almost always about 2.5 to 3 times as expensive as the cheap route. Consider some examples:
|Cheap and Slow||Expensive and Fast|
|Ferry & bus from
Vancouver to Victoria
|$40||$120||Seaplane from Vancouver to Victoria|
|Airporter to Victoria Airport from home||$16||$40||Taxi to Victoria Airport from home|
|Ferry plus bus to Tofino from Vancouver||$60||$188||Seaplane to Tofino from Vancouver|
That’s hardly a large data set, and I’m no economist, but it’s a pattern I see over and over again. I remember similar ratios around renting a car or hiring a driver in Morocco, or flying versus the ferry among the Greek isles.
What is the ratio of time between the cheaper and the more expensive mode of travel?
The exception to this rule is rail travel. I see all these lovely VIA Rail commercials on during playoff hockey, “See Canada by Rail!” they say. And I’d love to, except for the price of a bloody train ticket to the next province over, I could fly from Halifax to Vancouver and back again in first-class.
It doesn’t matter how scenic the voyage is, they don’t seem to understand that slow + expensive = unpopular travel choice.
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