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Category: Lucky Penny

Thoughts on Denver RTD MyRide Program

myride-card

 

 

 

The start of 2016 marks many changes for the mode of transportation I use for work for over the last 20 years. Four new rail lines will go-live later this year, which may allow me to leave my car at home for commuting to work.  But eh first change for me happened the first of the year with the introduction of the Flatiron Flyer.  This route replace many of the express and regional routes between Boulder and Denver. Also for me, the change in fare structure has reduced my cost of commuting by about one third.

Late last year, I signed up for and was accepted to a pilot program called “The My Ride Stored Value Card”. This is basically a prepaid ride card where the fare is deducted from the card when it is tapped on a card reader. Using the card gives me a $.25 per ride discount on the regular fare.  The card also allows for a three hour window to use a transfer onto another bus route. Outside of a rough start, I think this program will be a keeper.

Experiences over the first two weeks:

January 4 – Today was the first day of the new Flatiron Flyer route.  These are buses that run between downtown Denver and Boulder on 15 minute intervals.  The rides on this route were free today!!  I brought my voucher to the customer service desk to obtain my new MyRide card.

This is where the fun begins.

Clerk #1 (as I hand her the voucher) – What is this?

Me – a voucher to participate in your new My Ride program.

Clerk # 2 talks to Clerk #1 and points to boxes on the back table. Clerk #1 grabs items from boxes and returns to station.  She starts typing.

Clerk #1 – What is your name.

Clerk #2 -everything you need is written on the voucher.

Me – rolls eyes

After another 10 minutes, I had a card with an initial deposit of $100. Ready to go for Tuesday.

January 5 – I boarded the bus to go downtown.  The card reader read “Regional”. I asked the driver to downgrade the fare to local.

<sound of crickets> The driver stares at his console, not sure of what to do. As the line to board grows impatient in front of me, the driver waves me in. Card balance $100. I wrote an email to RTD and was told not all the drivers had been trained on the My Ride card program.

Evening ride – card reader is broken. Card balance $100

January 6 – morning ride – card reader broken $100 balance. Evening ride – card reader broken $100 balance.

I’m starting to think I may never pay for a bus ride again.

January 7 – Finally. a working card reader, withe the correct local fare showing. Card Balance $97.65

Evening ride – no issues. Card balance $95.30

January 8 – no issues on either trip Card Balance at end of week $90.60

January 11 –  no issues. Balance $85.90

January 12 – no issues. Balance $81.20

January 13 – no issues inbound. Balance $78.85 Outbound – driver did not know how to downgrade fare (still?) Balance $78.85

January 14 – inbound – no issues Balance $76.50 Outbound  -card reader broken

January 15 – no issues either trip. Card balance $71.80

Thoughts: The kinks of the first two weeks will work themselves out.   The ‘pay as I use’ will actually cost me less then the monthly passes ($99 for a local pass).  I would like to see enhancements such as self-service through the website, as the only time I know my remaining balance is after I scan the card. Also a way for the bus to calculate the fare based on route and location would be helpful and could reduce boarding delays as the program goes wide.

 

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First Vlog

A New Year and a new medium. I have started Vlogging. My first video went up on You Tube this morning. I hope that you will check it out. It speaks of some of my favorite things.

First up is a favorite Christmas mug. This Snowman tea mug was purchased at Macy’s for Christmas 2013. It is a Susan Wingert design by Certified International. I like the mug for its size and the little extras. It has a lid that helps keep my tea warm.  It also has a tea ball for steeping loose tea with an attached snowman.

Tea Time

Inside the cup for most of this season has been Bigelow Tea in the flavor Orange & Spice. I like this tea because it is herbal and has no caffeine. It is a nice morning flavor, sometimes I add a bit of locally sourced honey to it.

I have Celiac Spruce disease which means that I am allergic to Gluten. Finding great baked goods is difficult. Last summer I discovered Cookies and Brownies from the WOW Baking Company. This season has been full of White Chocolate Cranberry as well as Chocolate Chip Cookies and Brownies. They also have Oatmeal Raisin and a Sugar cookie. They are soft cookies that freeze well. I have found them at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. They are about $7-8 a box. They can be ordered on line at WOWBaking .com.

Hooks by Clover

I love to crochet, but long spans of time crocheting can make my hand ache. I found that Clover has a great set of crochet hooks. These standard sized hooks have a comfortable rubber-like grip on them. The set is available on Amazon. Recently I found that they are available at my local Joann Fabric store in both the standard aluminium sizes and in the steel hook sizes. They run about $8 each there. I figure that I will acquire them a few at a time with my 40% off coupons. The nice thing about them is that they are standardized by color, for instance the brown hook will always be a J size.

This season’s favorite new cookbook is Mark Bittman’s, How To Cook Everything Fast. I picked it up at Costco for about $22. It is a large tome of wonderful recipes and great illustrations. The recipes are augmented by suggested variations. It has been a lot of fun to cook from it.

I love to read but do not always have the time I would like to enjoy it. Over the past decade I have found that Audible Books has been a great addition to my life. I have just finished Dan Brown’s Inferno. It is a 17+ hour book that captured me from the first chapter. It is one of those books that has been on my to read list for too long. I enjoy Dan Brown’s books. If you check out Audible through this link I’ll get a free book to read!

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View from the Fence Post – Beauty Box 5 Bonus

Bonus Box yields full sized products

Bonus Box yields full sized products

I received my first subscription box from Beauty Box 5. I signed up for a full year and was offered a special box in addition for an additional $35 that promised value of over $100. It is the $35 box that arrived today. I am very pleased.

It included five full sized products four of which are upscale. The first is a Bobby Brown lipstick in a beautiful Red called ‘Old Hollywood’. It is a $25 value.

The second is a drugstore product. It is the Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping Mascara in Blackened Brown. It is valued at $7.99.

The third item is Elizabeth Arden’s Color Intrigue Eyeshadow Quad. It is a power shadow quad that includes a brush. The colors are pale lilac, warm yellow, golden brown and charcoal. They are lovely. The retail value is $30.

The Lancome Le Stylo waterproof eyeliner is number four in the box. The color is Café Noir a nice brownish black. It is a fine line felt tip with a blending tip included. This Retails at $27.

The final item is Lancome’s Le Crayon Lip Contour in Cherry. It is a nice match for the Bobby Brown Lipstick in this cache. It retails for $25.

I am very pleased with the selection in this box. If you choose to purchase a subscription to Beauty Box 5 do consider the add-on offer if you have the opportunity. The total retail value of the products in this box is $114.99.

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View from the Fence Post – The Dollar Shave Club – July 2014

Membership is important

Membership is important

We are ordering in. Well sort of, we are getting several subscription boxes in our home now.

The latest addition is the Dollar Shave Club. My Husband subscribed after deciding that the refills for his Gillette razor were getting to pricey. He chose the Executive version at $9 a month including shipping. Included with the first shipment is the handle and 4 six blade cartridges. It has a lubricating strip with Aloe, Vitamin E and Lavender. Art notes that the handle is a bit slippery when wet, something to remember if you shave in the shower.

Also included was a sample of Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter. A large enough sample for several shaves. A full sized 6 oz. tube runs $8 and can be added to your order. He likes it enough that it will likely be a purchase in a future order.

Shave Butter for a better Shave

Shave Butter for a better Shave.

Also included is a collection of trivia called The Bathroom Minutes. I know issue 6 has added to our household.

The Dollar Shave Club bills monthly based on when you signed up. The first shipment came very quickly, in less than a week.

If this sounds like something you want to try tell them over at The Dollar Shave Club that Art sent you.

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