• DelDOT: 2010 Transit Riders Have Monthly Savings of $938

    by  • December 16, 2010 • Transit • 2 Comments


    Same, or more for walking, bicycle commuting?

    Press ReleaseThe American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released their monthly Transit Savings Report noting that riding public transportation saves individuals, on average $9,581 annually, a savings of more than $400 compared to the same time last year, and up to $798 per month based on the December 7, 2010 average national gas price ($2.96 per gallon-reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate. Philadelphia area transit riders had annual savings of $11,253, saving $938 each month.

    APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the average monthly transit pass of local public transit agencies across the country. This information is based on the annual APTA fare collection survey and is weighted based on ridership (unlinked passenger trips). The assumption is that a person making a switch to public transportation would likely purchase an unlimited pass for their local transit agency, typically available on a monthly basis.

    APTA then compares the average monthly transit fare to the average cost of driving. The cost of driving is calculated using the 2010 AAA average cost of driving formula. AAA cost of driving formula is based on variable costs and fixed costs. The variable costs include the cost of gas, maintenance and tires. The fixed costs include insurance, license registration, depreciation and finance charges. The comparison also uses the average mileage of a mid-size auto at 23.4 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on December 7, 2010 at $2.96 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings assume a person in two-person household lives with one less car.

    To calculate your individual savings with or without car ownership, go HERE.

    Read the press release in its entirety HERE.

    2 Responses to DelDOT: 2010 Transit Riders Have Monthly Savings of $938

    1. Benjammin
      December 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm

      Are you deleting my comment? Seriously?

    2. Benjammin
      December 17, 2010 at 11:03 pm

      Huh, I initially thought "I don't see how that's possible" because I've done these calculations myself and I always come out ahead when driving my car. I even ran their calculator and it says public transit will cost me $600 a year MORE than a car.

      Here's how I break it down, let me know if I'm forgetting anything. This also covers ALL costs of car ownership, not just those related to commuting. So I'm being overly generous here, because let's face it, outside of NYC how many people who ride public transit actually don't have (or give up) a car?

      Cost of car: $25,000 (Toyota Prius)
      Cost of gas: $3.25 per gallon
      Cost per mile (45 mpg): 7 cents
      Miles driven per year: 20,000 (total, not just commuting)
      Expected life of car: 300,000 miles / 15 yrs (because it's a hybrid)

      Cost of car purchase per year: $1,667
      Cost of gas per year: $1,400
      Cost of insurance per year: $1,200
      Cost of tires per year: $175
      Cost of oil change per year: $175 (premium synthetic)
      Cost of registration per year: $150

      Total per year: $4,767 to drive my car where I want, when I want.

      Now let's say I take public transit to work. Round trip that's 10 miles. Fares are $1.25 each way so $2.50 per day to take transit. That's $625 per year.

      Hmmm. That's 2,500 miles I won't be driving in my car. So it was $4,767 to drive my car 20,000 miles a year. That's 24 cents per mile or $2.40 per day or $600 per year to drive my car to work. Not to mention the HUGE time and convenience savings. What does my time cost? I didn't even factor that in.

      Don't get me wrong, I love public transit WHEN IT'S DONE RIGHT. But in most of the U.S. public transit SUCKS. It is not frequent enough, the connections aren't easy enough, it's not extensive enough, not comfortable enough, outdated, etc. My only exceptions to this are NYC and perhaps Trimet in Portland.

      I currently live near the Bay Area and was appalled the first time I rode BART. It was so dirty, the stations were ugly, and my ears were reeling from the screeching and scraping noises that the trains constantly made (is it THAT hard to make a quiet train???). Plus it doesn't run late at night.

      So yeah, I'll keep my car, thanks.

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