The cost isn’t ridiculous, by the way. It has nothing to do with the simplicity of the vehicle. The reason it’s expensive is that unicycles are not in high demand, and the parts on most 36ers are only for 36ers. This is why the cost is so high.
You don’t want to spend 300-500 on a … bike thats a million times simpler than a … bike
36" wheels aren’t common and very few are produced, thus they are more expensive than standard bike parts. For your price “range” of under $150 you will probably have better luck finding a used 29" cycle for commuting on.
Hey I have a 36 in coker wheel with a frame that I made myself. It also has a kh air seat with custom handel bars. Glow in the dark Jim Cilience pedals. Overall a great long distance rider ready to hit the road again. Email me if interested at firstname.lastname@example.org