It has been more than 4 months since I commute by train to work. To be specific, I take KTM from Klang to Subang Jaya, then swap to LRT at Subang Jaya to Asia Jaya. I leave my car at KTM station in Klang and walk to my office from Asia Jaya station. What are the pros and cons of taking the train to work?
A major reason I changed job was so that I could stop driving to work and better manage my stress. I used to turn on my GPS during every drive to make sure I’m not stuck in unexpected traffic congestion. I used to always wonder how long the ride will actually be (vs ETA). Too much thinking. Too much stress.
Living in Klang and working in KL (the edge of KL if I may add) was a stretch. At my previous job, I easily spend 3 hours on the road every day to drive to and from work. I arrive at work tired. I arrive at home tired. I was just tired day in day out. I believe the tiredness come from mental exhaustion, having to concentrate for an additional 3 hours. Now, I can nap in the train if I feel like. Awesome.
This is good because when I used to drive, I’d clock under 4k a day on a usual day. But when I commute to work, I clock 6k steps a day, just nice to hit my daily goal. On most days, I also take the staircase at the KTM station as exercise.
More Productive Time
When I drive, I can’t do anything else besides listening to the radio. When I take the train, I get to browse the web, read books, and on rare occasions rush some work. I have 30min on KTM and 15min on LRT. Good enough.
More Toilet Breaks
No joke. 1.5 hour drive is enough time to fill one’s bladder. At home, my mom normally opens the door for us when we arrive home after work because she knows we’d rush to the toilet first thing. Taking the train allows me to take toilet breaks at 5min interval when I’m on LRT. I can hop off, go to the toilet and hop back on easily without needing to check for the nearest petrol station on my GPS and detour through the congested roads.
Less Flexibility for After Work Activity
In the event I need to detour from my home-office-home routine, it’s challenging. I have to figure out if the destination is connected by public transportation. I have to make sure public transportation is still operating all the way till Klang after I’m done. So in most cases when I know I’m going elsewhere after work, I’d drive to work that day.
Less Flexibility for Working Late
This is not encouraged but there are times it’s unavoidable to leave work past 9pm. I learned it the hard way that KTM Subang serves the 2nd last train at about 10pm and the last train at about 11.30pm. Imagine the wait if I missed the 10pm train!
The later I leave work, the less secure I feel. Because there’d be less people waiting at the train stations, less people in the train and less people at the parking lot too. Sometimes, I take Grab/Uber back to KTM in Klang when I work past 9pm; fyi, it’s claimable.
Higher Mobile Internet Usage
So this happened last month. I overused my mobile internet to download huge apps and files at the beginning of my billing cycle. I had to cut back on daily basis just to make it till the end of the month. I’ve been more cautious of my mobile internet usage this month. So far so good. 6GB will be more than enough as long as I don’t treat it like unlimited wifi.
Actually I haven’t been tracking the actual cost difference between driving and taking the train to work, especially to this workplace. But based on my estimation, the cost difference is only RM50/month in my case (but I suspect the difference is bigger); taking the train is cheaper. So if one day I find driving more convenient, I’m willing to switch over. At the moment, I drive when I need to travel somewhere after work because it’d cost me more than RM50/month to take Grab/Uber around.
I’ve missed my train before. Like when I want to park my car, the train just left the station. And I’d then drive straight to work because no one is gonna wait another 30-45min for the next train. Guess what? It takes me the same if not longer to drive to work!
I thought it’d be crazy for me when it rains but I park outdoor at my office and the parking lot is a distance away so there’s not much difference if I drive or take the train. In fact, I really don’t want to be on the road from Petaling Jaya until Klang when it rains. Just thinking about the traffic jam makes me feel tensed.
I used to take the train to college and really liked the me time I had to myself during the commute and less stress when I don’t have to brace the traffic. I’m glad that I can now take train to work again.
What about you? Do you prefer taking the train or drive to work if given a choice?
P/s This blog post is written while taking the train to work.