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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 04-03-07, 06:28 PM   #1
wheel
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Daily Commute Analysis

A person who commutes 25 miles to work roundtrip by motor vehicle. Using the freeway at a speed limit of 55 mph during rush hour. Taking approximately 35 minutes to go door to door or 70 minutes round trip. They work 20 days each month. The car gets 25 miles to the gallon. The owner pays 90 dollars a month for insurance. Parking costs are 60 dollars a month. Gas is 3 dollars a gallon. The recommended cardio work out is 30 minutes. The motor will throw out 20lbs of carbon dioxide into the air during a full day of commuting.

A motorist's cost which also can be looked at here http://www.bts.gov/publications/nati...ble_03_14.html
$3.00 parking
$3.00 gas
$3.00 Insurance
$9.00 Daily total.

Time
60 minuets daily expense rounded to nearest hour
70 minutes commute time
40 minutes cardio work out
Total adjusted commute time is 170 minutes


A bicyclist's same commute will go 13 miles one way and 12 miles on the way home. It will take 70 minutes each way. They will park their bike next to the desk they occupy. A work out with targeted heart for at least 30 minutes will be included along with stretching out before hand. 20lbs of carbon and 1 gallon of gas won’t be produced for the cyclist to commute each full day. A savings of $9.00 a day by not driving a motor vehicle. At the end of the 150 minutes the cyclist will burn approximately 1,200 calories.


Time
140 minutes commute
10 minutes stretching
work out included
Total adjusted commute time 150 minutes

As you can see by the bicyclist's commute They will be faster by 20 minutes. Save $9.00 a day. A cardio work out is included while they commute on top of the 120 minutes they may or may not have a targeted heart rate. As an added bonus the cyclist will burn approximately 1,200 calories upon returning home.

I didn't bother to use maintenance to hard to figure out.
I am using estimates and rounding. I don't own a car but used two year old data from when I owned a car. Looking at the motorist's commute above in realistic terms.
When I parallel the freeway it is 13 miles one way. The freeway also veers north for about 3 blocks. So really it would be 26.5 miles. Time break down 10 minutes were used to transition from/to freeway to parking areas. Another 10 minutes to walk back and forth three blocks to a parking garage, and 15 minutes on the freeway. I think this figure is just about right. If you consider light traffic in rush hour both ways and the transition to parking areas having several stoplights.
Car data came from when I owned a car. Insurance most likely would be higher since I had all the deductions one could receive. Also the actual cost of gas in reality is much higher anywhere from 5 to 10 dollars higher depending on what sources you use. I have chosen to have the commuter own the car. I have chosen to start from the front door to the front door including stretching in the cardio work out, hence if you need to go to the gym that might be longer. Insurance is based on 30 calendar days not 20 working days. I used one work hour to pay for expenses that the motorists incurs during their commute which I am rounding up.
For the cylist I am using my own cost and experince.
Source for 1 gallon equals 20 lbs of carbon dioxide.
http://www.terrapass.com/terrablog/p...-carbon-d.html



Any other examples, thoughts, or comments?

Last edited by wheel; 04-09-07 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 04-03-07, 07:29 PM   #2
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Show your work.

How did you arrive at a quarter ton of carbon being produced from no more than six pounds of carbon? A gallon a day in fuel produces 475 pound of carbon? Conservation of mass provides that the gallon of fuel, at about six pounds (not all of which is carbon, BTW), cannot produce 469 additional pounds of carbon out of nothingness. Even thermonuclear fusion obeys conservation of mass.

How did you arrive at 30/day in bicycle maintenance? Seat of the pants calculations of my last year's expenses are much higher.

BTW, I'm happily car-free for eight years, (well, seven years and 50 weeks). I'm not arguing where you're heading or the conclusions you wish to be drawn. However, "the other side" is going to hold up these figures and shout "Sham!".
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Old 04-03-07, 08:06 PM   #3
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Not a bad analysis, wheel. The U. S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics calculates (for 2005) an average cost of $0.522 per mile, which gives $13.05 daily cost as compared with your figure of $12.00.

http://www.bts.gov/publications/nati...ble_03_14.html

However, I think 15,000 miles per year is quoted more often for the average driver than the 6,000 miles in your example.
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Old 04-03-07, 08:24 PM   #4
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Ok thanks for the correction. I was wrong on the carbon now changed.
Hay thanks for that link! Wow I was really close well if you worked that way through the year it would be 2,880 for 6,000 miles times that by three for 18,000 miles and you get 8,640 which is pretty close to 7,834 for 15,000 miles.

I just stripped out Maintenance. I didn't want to include it at first. So that was easy thanks for the thoughts. I was trying to figure how to show maintenance when there is so much involved with a bikeor a motor.
That was my bicycle maintenance costs for last year which was more like .28 cents. I am spending more than that this year.

So if the average cost is .52 per 15,000 miles could I just divide that by three or .17some numbers.
I get 4.25 every 25 miles added the 3 dollar parking and you get 7.25. Which doesn't reflect the 3.00 gas price. Because they took 2004 gas prices. I think 9 dollars is still pretty close.

More great thoughts comments?

Last edited by wheel; 04-03-07 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 04-03-07, 08:51 PM   #5
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Maintenance is the wild card in all car ownership calculations.

If you are a talented mechanic with access to all the tools and parts you need, you can simply buy an old car for next to nothing and keep it running forever. All it costs you is the consumables and the minimum required insurance and taxes.

Otherwise, the choices are (1) buy new(ish) cars with a mechanical warranty, (2) pay as you go for maintenance and repairs, or (3) defer maintenance until you are forced to buy a newer car.

In virtually all cases there comes a time when you have to cough up the money for a new(er) car. That mysterious thing called depreciation is how you account for the cost of the new(er) car that eventually needs to be bought.
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Old 04-03-07, 09:03 PM   #6
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Some more numbers in Commuting: http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=272293
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Old 04-03-07, 10:01 PM   #7
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I'm more of a global thinker, so here's what I came up with:

When I had a car (it wasn't an extravagant one, but it wasn't a beater, either):
-$75/mo insurance
-$120/mo gas
-$150.00/mo car payment (yes, I'm an idiot)
-$10.00/mo license tabs
-$7.00/mo parking meters
-$20.00/mo maintenance
total expense: $382.00/mo, or $4584.00/year

Using a bike and public transportation:
-$8.75/mo maintenance (including the purchase of new tires, brakes, and lubricant)
-$17.00/mo frivolous accessory purchases (new helmet I didn't really need, utterly waterproof panniers)
-$12.00/mo bus fare
-$4.86/mo initial bike purchase
total car-free expenses: $42.61/mo or $511.32/year

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Last edited by bragi; 04-03-07 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 04-03-07, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bragi
I'm more of a global thinker, so here's what I came up with:

When I had a car (it wasn't an extravagant one, but it wasn't a beater, either):
-$75/mo insurance
-$120/mo gas
-$150.00/mo car payment (yes, I'm an idiot)
-$10.00/mo license tabs
-$7.00/mo parking meters
-$20.00/mo maintenance
total expense: $382.00/mo, or $4584.00/year

Using a bike and public transportation:
-$8.75/mo maintenance (including the purchase of new tires, brakes, and lubricant)
-$17.00/mo frivolous accessory purchases (new helmet I didn't really need, utterly waterproof panniers)
-$12.00/mo bus fare
-$4.86/mo initial bike purchase
total car-free expenses: $42.61/mo or $511.32/year

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
how did you get a bike purchased for just $4.86 a month? U musta bought it from a crackhead lol.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WishYouWasMe
how did you get a bike purchased for just $4.86 a month?
I think a question would have been better.
My goal was...
I was not trying to compare costs, yet rather time. The cost part came in effect so I could get an extra 60 min.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WishYouWasMe
how did you get a bike purchased for just $4.86 a month? U musta bought it from a crackhead lol.
Actually, I bought the bike used for $175 three years ago, and, for the purposes of my list, just spread the cost out since I purchased it. I was trying not to hide any costs of bike ownership, in order to be fair.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:02 AM   #11
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With the alarming rate of obesity in the US, I am raise an eyebrow to your stats on the cardio a person gets per day.
We needed some humor in this thread.
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Old 04-05-07, 06:58 AM   #12
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i commute 23 miles a day five days a week. (that's the shortest distance. i ride a lot more just for the hell of it!). but dudes! i gotta admit i spend a lot on cycling! a lot. i like nice bikes and components. i have an aluminum commuter i use the most but i also (guiltily!) have three more REALLY nice whips. so the economic factor is kinda lost on me. but i like the analysis.
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Old 04-09-07, 05:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel
20lbs of carbon
That should be 20lbs of Carbon dioxide produced. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emi...alculator.html confirms this figure. For all you chemists out there, gasoline is mostly carbon by weight and when it burns it combines with oxygen to make it about 3 times heaver.
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Old 04-09-07, 11:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Human Car
That should be 20lbs of Carbon dioxide produced. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emi...alculator.html confirms this figure. For all you chemists out there, gasoline is mostly carbon by weight and when it burns it combines with oxygen to make it about 3 times heaver.
And of course it's carbon dioxide that's causing the problems with the changing composition of the atmosphere.

Your point is crucial to an understanding of global warming. If the carbon stayed inside the petroleum, unburned, safely buried in the ground, we wouldn't be worried about global warming.
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Old 04-09-07, 03:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Human Car
That should be 20lbs of Carbon dioxide produced. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emi...alculator.html confirms this figure. For all you chemists out there, gasoline is mostly carbon by weight and when it burns it combines with oxygen to make it about 3 times heaver.
Thanks

you could also show cost per miles on your bike.

I average around 10 cents a mile on a bike.
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Old 04-09-07, 09:08 PM   #16
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Every mile on my bike = a longer life with my family.

I'd like to see a real calculation on this. 1 mi on a bike = 1 extra minute of life? 10 minutes? Who knows. I just feel better.
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Old 04-09-07, 09:33 PM   #17
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70 minutes to go 12 miles? I'm not particularly fast, but I can do 12 very hilly miles in a lot less than 70 minutes.

>Every mile on my bike = a longer life with my family.<

Unless you get hit by a bus. (I kid, I kid!)

Az
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Old 04-10-07, 04:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B
70 minutes to go 12 miles? I'm not particularly fast, but I can do 12 very hilly miles in a lot less than 70 minutes.

>Every mile on my bike = a longer life with my family.<

Unless you get hit by a bus. (I kid, I kid!)

Az
I think that may include some off cycle time, for stretching, etc. I agree though even on my Raleigh 3 speed my OTR average is about 15mph and that is if I am not in a hurry But a series of traffic lights can slow that down in a hurry.

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