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Yes, It Really Is Cheaper To Ride The Bus

July 27, 2010

So, we’re all unemployed over here (…Just me? Oh. Okay then.) and have nothing better to do with our (my) time than read financial blogs. The Simple Dollar is one of the few I follow because he does things like analyze options for submitted questions with real world advice, instead of like, telling everyone to buy stocks or something unrealistic for someone with no money and few options. Not to say that all of his readers and writer-inners are poor losers like me… Just read him.

Here, he breaks down how much less expensive it is to use transit as opposed to owning a car. The basics: Guy writes in and is all, I could take the bus, but I calculated how much I spend on gas, and there’s not a big difference. Simple Dollar is all polite smackdown.

First of all, your car costs a lot more than you think. Gas is just the start. You also have maintenance, tires, insurance, license, registration, taxes, depreciation, and finance charges (if you have a car loan). According to AAA’s estimates on driving costs, if you drive a medium sedan 10,000 miles per year, the cost per mile figuring in all of those factors is 70.2 cents per mile.
So, your commute is 30 miles long, round trip. Your cost for that commute in a medium sedan that you drive 10,000 miles in a year (a guess based on the info you provided) is $21.
This, of course, doesn’t include things like parking costs, traffic tickets, and so on.

I recently ran into an old co-worker who was all excited about my scooter (currently in the infirmary), and happened to ask how much it cost. Well, my cheap knockoff ended up costing about as much as a good one ($2K) after the crash and repairs, a price for which she reckoned that I could get a car.

But what kind of car can two thousand dollars honestly buy? And would the hunk of junk be worth it in the long (or short) run if it was twenty years old and died the week after I bought it? Seriously, that happened to a friend of mine back in Chicago. Fucker crapped out after a week!

As it stands, the scooter and bus combo costs me $63 dollars a month, plus $300 for repairs this year. Depending on what’s currently wrong with this one, I might have to get another one. For $700. Find me a car that cheap, as stylish as my scooter, one that requires no insurance, gets 60 miles to the gallon, fits in my friend’s kitchen when I go out of town, and gives me an excuse to avoid giving people rides… And I’ll consider it.

Till then, two wheels or 40 feet all the way.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2010 9:21 am

    I’m a huge fan of electric vehicles, especially for short-range travel, but I didn’t want to spend the money on an electric scooter. My solution? E-bike conversion. The most cost-effective option I found was this one, at $400: http://cleanrepublic.com/hill_topper_electric_bike_conversion_kit.html

    The biggest obstacle I’ve had to using a bike as a commuter vehicle is that it left me hot and sweaty. E-bike conversion addresses this problem in an elegant, modular way, but still forces me to get some exercise in the process. Plus, riding a bike allows me all the benefits of reusing existing infrastructure – bike racks on busses, bike lanes on the road, etc.

  2. 10B permalink
    July 30, 2010 1:26 am

    I can confirm that, girls. Yes, the honorable 10B recently bought a car because for some of his activities, and he can feel the cost. Besides cost, he is also missing perks such as sleeping, reading, sending text messages, meeting new people, and self-discipline…

    • CCTgirl permalink*
      July 30, 2010 9:30 am

      Yea, the bus out to Cobb is way better than driving out to Cobb!

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