Even the cheapest car, the Chevy Aveo, costs close to $5,000 a year to own. That’s a helluva lot more than the $125 a year for ST2.

Add in roads, and cars are expremely expensive compare to transit.

8 Replies to “The cost of transit to society is a lot cheaper than cars”

  1. True, but it’s Sunday today and many buses only come once every 45 minutes, if at all. This adds as much as 4 hours to my errands. Furthermore, buses generally are far less fuel-efficient than my vehicles considering that on weekends they carry an average of only 8 passengers per run. How much does it cost to run a fleet of underutilized buses, plus the cost of lost time, per weekend day?

    A lot more than $5,000 per year.

  2. At the Washington State minimum wage of $7.93 an hour, I waste $7.93 x 4 x 52 = $1,649.44 worth of time waiting for buses on weekends. Add in another hour per weekday of bus travel time that is over and above a comparable car/taxi trip, that’s $7.93 x 9 x 52 = $3,711.24 of time that is wasted per Seattleite just waiting for buses — and that’s not counting all those Boeingians and Microsofties that command much higher salaries!

    Now, add the cost of running underutilized buses on diesel and electric power (which costs money, too!), plus labor costs, plus government overhead, and the government is spending a lot more than $5,000 per Seattleite per year on transit.

    I, for one, look forward to superhighways flowing with Chevrolet Aveos. $125 per year is great, but cutting out those silly useless buses will be even greater.

  3. Transit poses no more (when EVERYTHING is included in the cost)…

    “maybe” 10-25% savings. When you step beyond infrastructure and operations though, the time saved with a car is almost priceless.

    I do however revolve the majority of my activities around transit, and it does save me and other higher density areas tons of cash over the insanity of attempting to use cars in urban environments.

    In rural and lower density areas though, transit, in reality, is absolutely stupid, environmentally unsound, wasteful, destructive, time consuming, costly, and in general… beyond high density urban use it is a BAD idea…

    But I digress, I love my streetcars and my urban areas. Everyone else can have their damnable suburbs.

  4. Wow, that’s the stupidest logic I’ve ever heard from Anonymous.

    I’m not sure where you got 5k from, every calculation I’ve done get’s me closer to 10k.

    And if it’s a problem, move from the suburbs.

    I’ve done the math from a 20 mile outside the downtown area. I still save myself 7k a YEAR by not having a car.

    Rent is almost a grand per month in the city, but you factor in $300 in car payments plus $200 in car insurance plus at 30 mpg (HA!) and a 15 mile each way commute (and that’s assuming NO traffic or outside commute use) brings your monthly cost of having a car in at about $600. So unless you pay $400 for rent, never sit in traffic, and always park for free you’re costing money, time, energy and the environment.

    I live and work downtown. I make sure my commute takes me 20 minutes or less. On the weekends, buses run just like any other day IF you live where it matters.

    If more people rode on the weekends, their would be more frequent routes. Don’t believe me? Look at the UDist and Downtown. Ridership stays up and bus frequency is just as much as on the weekedays (plus they are actually closer to ontime)

    If you’re going to start spouting numbers, make sure you use your name so we can figure out WHO is doing the numbers wrong.

    Do you seriously waste 4 hours sitting at a bus stop? I usually arrive about 5 minutes before it comes, so I figure I waste all of 1/4 of an hour waiting for buses any day of the week.

  5. First of all I don’t know which routes you are looking at with 8 passengers, but my routes are full all the time, in all honesty Sunday night can dip in numbers. There is one important thing people need to think about, Routes are usually strung together (ie 15 turns into 22 or 56) There are different times when you see the bus that maybe a few stops before a bunch got off? Maybe the route gets full closer to the end of the line. Just because someone sees 8 people on at that one spot doesn’t mean that is the total for the whole line that day. It is a misconception! I guess Metro is the only one with those answers when they do counts. People have no way of determining whether a bus is underutilized unless they ride the whole line.

  6. I bought my Chevy Aveo with cash, so I am not familiar with this “car payment” of which you speak.

    Furthermore, $200 for insurance?! You must have an abhorrent accident record. I pay less than one-fourth that.

    Add just a tank of gas every week and a $75 monthly parking space, and I pay about $400 a month on my car. Tack on $50 more for carbon offsets, and I have a net carbon footprint of much less than even your average Metro rider.

    I also don’t have to worry about my neighborhood being deemed “important” enough to have frequent daily bus service by some autocratic bureaucrats down at Metro headquarters. Cars enable men to be truly free in where they want to live; buses strangle development and tie it to a so-called “master plan” of favored neighborhoods. Ever notice how few Metro buses go to certain neighborhoods? I sure do, and I have a term for that.

  7. It feels like a big piece of disagreement between the two sides of this debate come from past bus experiences.

    Take anonymous#3’s comment: “Add in another hour per weekday of bus travel time”. Clearly this person has had bad bus experiences. As the system stands, the but is not likely a good solution for a3. However, a friend of mine saves about an hour a day by riding the bus, thanks to the wonders of the carpool lane. These two likely will never agree on whether transit is a good idea, because they are effected very differently by the bus system.

    Unless… someone comes along and builds a faster transit solution for a3. Maybe then s/he will give it another chance.

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