Parking the car and riding public transportation saves individuals $9,960 a year
Washington, D.C. The President’s Day weekend brings promises of big savings on major items such as cars, appliances and furniture. However, if your goal is to save large amounts of money without committing to a big purchase, taking public transportation is one of the best ways to rack up presidential size savings. Consider the facts from the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) February Transit Savings Report, individuals who ride public transportation instead of driving can save, on average, more than $830 this month, and $9,960 annually. That’s not just in the winter, the savings extend all year round.
These savings are based on the cost of commuting by public transportation compared to the cost of owning and driving a vehicle which includes the February 11, 2014 average national gas price ($3.31 per gallon- reported by AAA), and the national unreserved monthly parking rate.
APTA releases this monthly Transit Savings Report to examine how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car.
The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $166.26, according to the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study. Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,995.
The top 20 cities with the highest public transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass. The savings also factor in local gas prices for February 11, 2014 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.*. Here are the top 5 cities.
City Monthly Savings Annual Savings
1 New York $1,237 $14,840
2 San Francisco $1,083 $13,000
3 Boston $1,081 $12,967
4 Philadelphia $1,001 $12,010
5 Chicago $984 $11,813
*Based on gasoline prices as reported by AAA on 2/11/14
APTA calculates the average cost of taking public transit by determining the cost of 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 public 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 2013 AAA average cost of driving formula. That formula is based on variable 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 23.1 miles per gallon and the price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline as recorded by AAA on February 11, 2014 at $3.31 per gallon. The analysis also assumes that a person will drive an average of 15,000 miles per year. The savings is based on the assumption that a person in a two-person household lives with one less car.
In determining the cost of parking, APTA uses the data from the 2012 Colliers International Parking Rate Study for monthly unreserved parking rates for the United States.
To calculate your individual savings, with or without car ownership, go to www.publictransportation.org.