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savings and more by commuting

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savings and more by commuting

Old 11-01-04, 08:01 PM
  #1  
LightCycles
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savings and more by commuting

Ok...

My round trip to and from work is 11 miles. Let us just say I commute about 3 times a week. Might actually be a low figure. So thats is 33 miles a week! Say I work 50 weeks (2wks for vacations and such)
Then I commute 1650 miles a year. Lets say my vehicle get 20 miles to the gallon. 1650 divided by 20 which is 82.5 so I save 83 gallons of gas. Let us say that gas averages 2.21 here and it is 2.24 now! Then I saved $183 dollars. Geeeze thats it!?? Well, no... The regular exercise keeps me fit and active (assuming some gas gusseling car doesn't run me over! Plus I save on wear and tear of my automobile.
The actual savings I get (I'd be pouring in about $20.00 of gas a week into my Explorer if I didn't commute) Hey that right there is about $1000.00 Now that helps out! I love riding by the gas stations lowest I have seen ( I pass 3 on my way in to work too) 2.17 I can almost gaurantee that that the price of gas will not get lower in the next year! If it does it won't be lower than 2.00 a gallon!

Commute...commute.....commute! If you want or need Pearl Izumi clothing for that commute! Email me at lightrj@plattsburgh.edu I'll give you 20% off the msrp! (Oh...I own a bike shop...a very small but hopefully a successful one!) So...from one cyclist to another! Buy from me! I'll give you a quote you will love!

Pedal On,

Bob Light
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Old 11-01-04, 09:01 PM
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Every day you ride your bike to work, you are gaining 30 mins quality recreation time, which would otherwise be spent trapped in your Explorer.
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Old 11-01-04, 11:03 PM
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Bob

Don't sell your commute short on $$'$. I plugged in your numbers on the commuting calculator at http://www.bikemetro.com/calculators/cost.asp found your savings greater than many would believe.

Total Cost Per Day = $12.14
Total Cost Per Month = $145.73
Total Cost Per Year = $1748.74

This calculation includes a vehicle maintenance and insurance cost of $.38/mile. This value is based on values from AAA.

mb
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Old 11-02-04, 02:04 AM
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Threw my figures in there. Way more than I expected. It's giving me $818 a month for a 40 mile round trip commute. 32mpg, 2.28 local gas price. I swear I don't spend that much. Maintenence is almost nil. What maintenence there is is done by me in my garage. Honda civics are cheap to keep running. Oh, and to fill the tank is only 18 bucks. At the most I spend 100 a month on gas if I don't ride the bike.
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Old 11-02-04, 02:43 AM
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Total Cost Per Day = $15.21
Total Cost Per Month = $212.96
Total Cost Per Year = $2,555.58

Based on 14 miles round trip, 18mpg, $1.859 per gallon, and making that trip 14 days a month.
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Old 11-02-04, 03:37 AM
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I only save $631 per year because my commute is only 2.5 miles each way. However, if I were to figure my average number of miles per day overall... 15, let's say.. I save $3786.55... that's only figuring 22mpg, 20 days a month, 1.89 a gallon for gas. Technically, I ride 15 or so miles a day 25 days a month, so the savings is considerably more than that I would bet. But still... 3k-4k a year without even figuring maintenance is a sickening amount of money. It's insane to think I save $5000 a year because I don't drive and don't smoke.

edit: I just noticed that it does include a maintenance/insurance cost of $0.38/mile.. BUT STILL!
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Old 11-02-04, 07:15 AM
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If you still own your vehicle, you can't count savings on insurance since you still have to pay it. I calculated it as follows: I commute about 50 miles a week. MPG on my ranger over short trips like that is horrible: say 12 mpg (it gets 18 hwy). 52*50 = 2600 miles. However, when I drive to work I also tend to take little "excursions" at lunch to the mall food court for lunch or target or walmart where I pick up stuff I don't need. The premium for food cost over lunch in the caf is about $2, plus another 10-15 miles per day. thats another ~3000 miles, and another $312 in food costs. If gas costs 2.10, the gas savings is $560. There are also 2 oil changes ($40), several gallons of winshield wiper fluid ($10) and 20% tire wear ($80). So my total is just over $1000 a year. I don't think I actually realize that much savings since I haven't ridden much with the shorter days. The real savings comes in the form of the present value of the cost for prescription drugs to deal with hypertension, acid reflux, heart conditions etc. that I won't need in the future, and the lack of need for zoloft today
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Old 11-02-04, 07:18 AM
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you can count insurance savings... insurance goes up or down based on how much or little you drive
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Old 11-02-04, 07:23 AM
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yes, but the barrier is usually 7500 - 10000 miles per year is short, >10000 per year is long, and the factor is usually like 1.1 vs 1.0. (I work in insurance). So even if your annual Ins is $1000, you only get another $100 total. For the most part, I see agents coding people as short no matter what. That's why I say you can't count insurance.
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Old 11-02-04, 11:56 AM
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I figure I probably break even. Sure I save on gas, but I also have to resupply myself with an extra 1000 calories a day! So what I save in gas is spent in higher food costs (not complaining). However, I think the savings will be huge (immeasureable) 40 years from now in health care savings and quality of life!
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Old 11-02-04, 12:48 PM
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I can count parking (at a discount rate), gas, and $10 a month I get as an incentive for not driving a car to work.

Counting only those things, and not stuff like vehicle maintenance, I'm at around $100 a month.

And yes, you have the health benefits, recreation, less stress, etc. I'm hoping to continue through the winter if the conditions permit. It does tend to snow a little bit in Vermont, as you might know.
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Old 11-02-04, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 520commuter
I figure I probably break even. Sure I save on gas, but I also have to resupply myself with an extra 1000 calories a day! So what I save in gas is spent in higher food costs (not complaining). However, I think the savings will be huge (immeasureable) 40 years from now in health care savings and quality of life!
My wife and I share 1 car. So I can claim the full $0.38/mile since my cycling allows me to forgo a 2nd car.

Anyway, whatever I save on gas/ins/car etc. I probably spend almost half on bike parts and clothes and stuff. But I think that it'll be different next year, I kind of went on a frenzy this summer.
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Old 11-02-04, 02:26 PM
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Here is some good info for your boss or business owner on the financial gains accrued thru bicycle commuting:

http://www.mwcog.org/commuter/Bdy-bike10.html
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Old 11-02-04, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by brajdicm
Bob

Don't sell your commute short on $$'$. I plugged in your numbers on the commuting calculator at http://www.bikemetro.com/calculators/cost.asp found your savings greater than many would believe.
mb
Cool Website! Thanks!
My numbers-


Total Cost Per Day = $9.37
Total Cost Per Month = $224.93
Total Cost Per Year = $2699.14
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Old 11-02-04, 06:53 PM
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The parking lot that attaches to my office building costs $170/month. That's more than $2000 per year. I stopped doing the math right there.
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Old 11-02-04, 07:40 PM
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I wish I read your thread earlier. Just bought a PI Kodiak Barrier jacket for $149 at WCP. Can you hook me up with a pair of PI AmF tights?

Originally Posted by LightCycles
Ok...

My round trip to and from work is 11 miles. Let us just say I commute about 3 times a week. Might actually be a low figure. So thats is 33 miles a week! Say I work 50 weeks (2wks for vacations and such)
Then I commute 1650 miles a year. Lets say my vehicle get 20 miles to the gallon. 1650 divided by 20 which is 82.5 so I save 83 gallons of gas. Let us say that gas averages 2.21 here and it is 2.24 now! Then I saved $183 dollars. Geeeze thats it!?? Well, no... The regular exercise keeps me fit and active (assuming some gas gusseling car doesn't run me over! Plus I save on wear and tear of my automobile.
The actual savings I get (I'd be pouring in about $20.00 of gas a week into my Explorer if I didn't commute) Hey that right there is about $1000.00 Now that helps out! I love riding by the gas stations lowest I have seen ( I pass 3 on my way in to work too) 2.17 I can almost gaurantee that that the price of gas will not get lower in the next year! If it does it won't be lower than 2.00 a gallon!

Commute...commute.....commute! If you want or need Pearl Izumi clothing for that commute! Email me at lightrj@plattsburgh.edu I'll give you 20% off the msrp! (Oh...I own a bike shop...a very small but hopefully a successful one!) So...from one cyclist to another! Buy from me! I'll give you a quote you will love!

Pedal On,

Bob Light
LightCycles
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Old 11-02-04, 10:34 PM
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I can agree totally that those that pick an alternate method of transportation to work (such as walking or riding) show up at work in a better mood and in higher spirits. I ride to work everyday and am in a MUCH better mood when I get there than when I rode to work in a car. Traffic congestion is so incredibly frustrating and honestly I hear people coming into work talking about how an accident held up traffic for some ungodly amount of time... us bikers will never have to worry about traffic jams and it's great.
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Old 11-03-04, 12:39 PM
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Interesting thread. I did the math and had somewhat similar figures.

Basic data
=========
auto commute round trip: 20 miles
bicycleable days: 65% of time
[ Steps to get percent of cycle time is:
1. get month by month 30 year climate data for your location. This should be available for your area from
1971 to 2000.
2. record days/month with percipation greater than .01 inch.
3. if in snow country, add .5 times percip days to get additional none rider days. This number should
be about the same as climate data for snowfall days.
Assumptions: A- don't want to commute in snow because of low vehicle driving skill sets in American driers,
B- don't want to commute in fall rain/lightning showers. Rain is ok, but electricity and humans don't always
play well together.
Why month by month? So you can set realistic expectations. Biking will not replace all transportation needs.
But it can be significant. Here I expect bike as little as 50% in the snow month of May and as high as 70% in summer. naturally this number is too high because there will be times when you need other transportation because of events planned prior/post work. ]
vehicle ownership cost per mile. Here I don't use AAA, but rather IRS mileage rate.

Formula time
===========
Auto weekly cost = mileage rate x auto commute in miles x average percent of bikable days/year
In my case, I didn't look up the IRS rate, so used approximate rate of 30 cents/mile. Thus expands to
.30 x 80 x .65 which equals $15.63 per week.

Annual auto cost == auto weekly cost * 48 weeks. Not 52 as you have vacations and holidays. Real number is probably closer to 45 weeks, but we want to impresss people with how much we are saving, right?!
Expanding in my example, this is $750.43 / year.

Monthly avg cost is yearly auto cost / 12 months. In example that would be $62.50 per month.

Now, wait there is more if you order today.... you also get....
Sorry couldn't resist ;-)


The key for my commuting is the release of gym time. I think rec centers usually cost about $30 a month. It has been so long I don't really know what the current rate is. Anyway, this savings must be figured in here also.

The way I continued to do that math is creating problems for me. First I explain how I do it and then the problem.

Here is how I calc bike costs
F1- total bike cost
F2- monthly cost. Total bike cost/12. In my case this works out to be $.31/mile after subtracting fitness $30/month.
F3- fitness cost. $30/month.
F4- years to recoup. [ Total bike cost / ( monthly bike cost + fitness cost )
F5- months to recoup costs. 12 x years to recoup
F6- weeks to recoup costs. 48 * months to recoup

Have you figured out what the problem is? Yip, keep on getting more stuff.

Bottom line, there is little if any cost savings vs auto in first 2 years. However there is a huge health and fitness benefit that you do not get by bike commuting. So you are not saving dollars but saving health. Hopefully, just as long as some cell phone booble head is not running over you.

Ok, how does this help me? My justification for bike commuting is
-- health
-- after 2 years of commuting, any more is free money and I have paid for my biking hobby.
hummm, that is if I can some buying biking stuff.

Huff
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Old 11-03-04, 02:53 PM
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Paying for parking really changes things. At $0.38 per mile and $6 per day parking, that's $10 saved per day for me, or $50 a week. Over 48 weeks, that's $2,400 saved per year. I could buy a $1,000 bike annualy, and still come out ahead.

Paul
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Old 11-03-04, 03:11 PM
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Commuted to work by bike, 5 days a week, for 16 years 'til I retired.
Folks thought I was goofy; by the time a year went by, had about 5 other regular bike commuters.
Just DO it!
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Old 11-03-04, 04:00 PM
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I figured riding my bike to work was like a $13,000 raise. My savings come from not using or owning a 2nd vehicle.

Vehicle Payments per year $3600
Insurance $1200
Fuel $1500
Parking $700
Repairs $1000
Total $8000

To have $8000 after tax (40% tax bracket) to spend on a vehicle I need to earn $13333. Thus I am saving a ton by reducing a vehicle from my life. Add to that things I cannot put a price on like health benefits, enjoyment, and helping the environment.

Sooo, when I buy a new bike toy I do not feel the least bit guilty.
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Old 11-03-04, 04:01 PM
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I was able to get rid of my car because I can commute by bike. My wife has a car I can borrow in a pinch for severe weather, etc. No gas, no insurance, no depreciation, no taxes, no tags, more room in the driveway...

Saves a lot. Oh yeah, probably saves on the Dr bills, too, since I lost all that weight. And all that hole in the ozone stuff, too, saves the planet a little bit.

Decide to ride.
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Old 11-03-04, 04:24 PM
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Unless you have a walmart bike, you would have depreciation. You should be able to sell it for something after one year, right?

No taxes, you don't have sales tax?

The planet is fine. It has been here longer than us and will be here after we're gone. Now once the Sun goes that's a different story.

The big item my earlier analysis misses of course is that all bike expenses are front loaded in first years. With a car they are carried over 10 years. Again look at IRS mileage allowance for cost of owning a vehicle. You might be able to beat those figures, but 90% of drivers cannot. You also have the investment opportunity difference that could be used to increase savings.

Buy good bike and gear and spend $5,000 in 10 years. 2K for bike, 2K for gear, 1K for maintenance in time and materials.

Buy an average car/truck for $25,000 and pay additional $3,000 in taxes and fees. Pay another $12,000 in next 10 years. Probably would really pay more than that, but you get the point.

10 year cost of bike: $5,000
10 year cost of vehicle: $50,000

Difference $45,000

But, the real difference is higher than that. If you invest that at a measily 5% you will have an additional $73,300.26 in your bank after 10 years of commuting.

Younger riders take head. The choice is yours, Play with bike riding or stay in the vehicle and have nothing when you retire. OR, bike every darn day you can, and have at least 3 extra houses pumping rental income to you monthly......

Huff
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Old 11-03-04, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by huffypuffy
Younger riders take head. The choice is yours, Play with bike riding or stay in the vehicle and have nothing when you retire. OR, bike every darn day you can, and have at least 3 extra houses pumping rental income to you monthly......

Huff
Younger riders are going to need that rental income too, since social security isn't likely to be around....oh and you might live longer if you have been fit your whole life....
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Old 11-03-04, 05:55 PM
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My computatiosn were simpler.

MTN bike = 400
Maintenance and upgrades over the last 8 months = 200
Total cost = $600

Monthly Bus pass to work = 50 x 8 months of ownership = $450

Selling the bike for $300 so I'm still actually ahead....

Not to count the fact that I've lost 30 lbs
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