This just in: driving a car costs a whole bunch of money. Crazy as it may sound to all eight of our car-loving readers, puttin’ the pedal to the metal isn’t quite as cost effective as actually pedaling.
This according the American Public Transportation Association’s Transit Savings Report. They looked at what a car costs to own and run (the whole deal from buying it, maintaining it, parking, registration, insurance and more) and then compared that with what transit use would cost the same family.
The PI says in Seattle such a comparison nets a$10,483 savings for those chucking their car keys. And that’s for transit use. A bicycle switchover would probably fare even better. Pretty impressive.
When we started this blog (and it pains me to admit this) we had three cars. We’re now down to one (does that mean we are $21k ahead?), primarily used for skiing and camping trips. Our costs are way low (since we hardly drive, never park and aren’t super concerned about depreciation since these kooky VW Campers still sell for what they went for new) essentially adding up to insurance and gas and limited maintenance.
We’ve done the math and even if we could get a hold of a conveniently located rental car, or if Zip Car came with enough miles for a weekend of skiing, it’s remains cheaper to keep what we have. Even still, we feel dirty owning a car. I hate driving and hate being part of such a broken system.
So reports like this tempt me and keep me looking at options. Who knows, maybe Zip Car will come out with a “go camping” or “Sunday Drive” option where you pay a bit more for a bit more miles (in fact, I just emailed them the suggestion). Anyone have any other options for us (and don’t say quit skiing)?
Meanwhile, More of the Same from DC and Detroit
While news like this could entice many to bail on car ownership, it seems like government is trying to keep us chained to the auto industry, using promises of a $4500 stipend for turning in a gas guzzler and replacing it with a newer, slightly more economical model. Cutely titled “Cash for Clunkers” the plan appeared under the banner of climate change but doesn’t strike me as anything other than a politically beige way send additional cash to the auto industry.
As I tweeted yesterday, how come only new car buyers are getting the bonus? If this is about fixing the climate, then shouldn’t non-drivers be eligible for the same (more!)? Isn’t going from 18mpg to unlimted mpg better than the 28mpg called for by the trade-in proposal?
Tolerance in the PI House?
In other breaking news, only a dozen bike/transit trolls had posted comments to the PI Transit Savings article by 10pm, causing me to wonder if the single occupancy drivers are finally running out gas. Could it mean a new level of tolerance will allow meaningful, rational discussion of these important issues? Is such a breakthrough possible?
I’m not sure, but tonight I go to bed hopeful.