A new report out from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) confirms what we already knew: ditching a car can save you thousands of dollars per year. According to the report, the average savings for public transit users who eliminate a car is $724 per month ($8,691 per year), based on the cost of parking and the 5/5/09 average gas price of $2.079 as reported by AAA.
Here’s their methodology:
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 on the 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 2009 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 as recorded by AAA on May 5 at $2.079 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings assume a household gives up one car.
In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2008 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States.
Point-to-point bike commuters can take the transit pass expense out of the equation and see even more savings. And, more importantly, the many mental and physical benefits provided by bicycling are nearly priceless.
You can calculate your own savings by trying out the Savings Calculator at PublicTransportation.org.
[via Car Free Days]