Monday, March 9, 2009

Public Transport Saves You $36/day?

WTOP is reporting that a study by the American Public Transportation Association, a leading advocate for public transportation shows "people who opt for public transportation over driving in the D.C. metro area can save $9,530 a year."

That's about $36 a day (9,530/260). If that's true--it seems a little, ok WAY high to us--then many of the headaches we experience on Metro would certainly be more palatable. But look.

If you commuted 30 miles a day, which is roughly the same as from the
Vienna Metro Station, at end of the Orange Line, to the White House and back, the cost of operating and maintaining your car would be $16.50/day using the Federal reimbursement rate of 55 cents/mile. Then you'd pay $12/day in parking. So you're spending $28.50 a day in this example. If you are a high end Metro (rail and bus) user, you could spend about $11/day on your commute. This assumes a maximum fare of $9 each way on Metrorail and plus another $2 or so on buses.

Now $17 a day is still a pretty good savings, but we're not sure where the other $19 comes from in the study. They say they use the "2008 AAA average cost of driving formula." Unlike that survey, we don't take into account insurance and finance charges on a car because if you lived, say, in Vienna, you'd probably still have to have a car and pay those fees.

Now, if you accounted for the frustration factor of Metro versus that of driving along a clogged I-66, Metro would certainly come out on top, but not by $19.

In other news:
Nationwide usage of public transport reaches all-time high (WaPo)
Talk transit with Dr. Gridlock today at 1 p.m. here
We asked, and we received (GGW)
What would you ask WMATA? (GGW)

1 comment:

Sean Robertson said...

The numbers probably are accurate if you actually choose not to own a car. The cost of car insurance and maintenance is extremely high. I can certainly tell you that if I still owned my car, most of what I enjoy doing in my spare time I could not afford.

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter