Yes, It Really Is Cheaper To Ride The Bus
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.