Commuting costs for 1 year of driving may equal cost for decades of public transportation, per person

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 07/19/2006 - 22:47.

 I found the following very insightful commuting cost calculator via urban planner Scott Muscatello's cool "Cleveland vs. The World" blog. It takes into account much more than your $3.00 per gallon gas, as you'll see listed below - I don't drive to commute or own a car so I don't have these costs nor do I cost society for any of this... what about you... l commuting cost calculator?

If you live in Westlake and commute daily downtown (around 35 miles roundtrip), and tool around another 10 miles roundtrip per day (annual driving of around 16,500 miles) the cost to you and the world is around $20,000 per year. If you communte 100 miles roundtrip a day, like a friend of mine in Medina, and tool another 20 miles per day, you drive around 33,000 miles per year and the cost to all, including you is average $40,000. I can get RTA all day pases at $3 per day every day for around 36 years, for that. What does your car-based lifestyle cost you and society?


Through this short calculation sheet you can calculate your costs based on your specific vehicle miles traveled in order to identify what you really pay to drive each year. Once all costs are considered, it quickly becomes clear that it might be cheaper to consider transportation alternatives such as riding a bike, using the bus, vanpooling, carpooling, walking or telecommuting. Call 831/429-POOL for more information or assistance.
Calculate your commute costs by entering information about your commute and driving habits. In the cost column, use typical driver costs or change amounts to reflect your specific expenses. Press the calculate button. The calculator gives you your annual vehicle mileage and calculates your true cost of driving.
Your daily ROUND TRIP COMMUTE MILES to and from work
Add in your average daily ROUND TRIP non-commuter miles
Your Annual Vehicle Mileage is:
1. Determine your Annual Vehicle Mileage    (number of miles you drive in one year)
2. Your Direct Driver's Expenses COSTS
  Fixed: insurance and registration ¢ per mile
  Finance Charge ¢ per mile
  Depreciation ¢ per mile
  Fuel and Oil ¢ per mile
  Maintenance and Tires ¢ per mile
  Residential Parking ¢ per mile
  Parking and Tolls: user paid (if applicable) ¢ per mile
  Travel Time (with average delays) ¢ per mile
  Accidents (minus net insurance disbursements) ¢ per mile
3. Total Direct Drivers Expense per mile
4. Your Societal Costs COSTS
  Accidents (minus net insurance disbursements and direct costs as cited)  ¢ per mile
  State and Local Construction, Improvements and Repair (2000) ¢ per mile
  State and Local Highway Maintenance and Operations (2000) ¢ per mile
  Parking (commercial and employer-paid, including goverment tax) ¢ per mile
  Waste Disposal ¢ per mile
  Air Pollution Damage (health costs, crops, trees, materials, etc.) ¢ per mile
  External Resource Consumption Costs ¢ per mile
  Road Noise (property value decrease and abatement) ¢ per mile
  CO2 Reduction (motor vehicles only) ¢ per mile
  Water Pollution and Hydrologic Impacts ¢ per mile
  Transportation Diversity and Equity ¢ per mile
  Barrier Effects on Pedestrians and Bicycles ¢ per mile
  Land Use Impact Costs ¢ per mile
  Roadway Land Value ¢ per mile
  Congestion Cost ¢ per mile
5.   Total Societal Costs per mile associated with driving
6. The Total Dollar Cost per mile (lines 3 and 5)
7. The Actual Cost of Your Driving per year (line 1 multiplied by line 6)
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No easy solution to the car in Cleveland

Wow! Just the thought of calculating the costs of driving to work makes me feel like I'm back in calculus class.  I'd rather just walk to work than do the math. Seriously, (I assume there is not a website that will calculate this for you, otherwise you would have found it and posted a link) someone should create a program to calculate this stuff fast and easy.

I try to make my commute --- by car -- as efficient as possible. I live about five miles from work and try to drive when there is less traffic. I have made a conscious effort to live close to work, this I can control, but its the other people in my life that are the problem. Whenever I go out with friends or relatives everyone drives 15-30 miles, each from their own suburb. It makes me feel guilty for going out, but there is no easy solution. Public transportation is not so convenient in Westlake, Parma, Chagrin Falls, especially on weekends and late at night. It seems that everyone in your social network needs to change their habits in order for you to be freed from endless driving and wasting gas.

Need high density and you'll find true blue friends

I'm just looking at some of the statistical analyses from the 2004 presidential election and find that while Cuyahoga County is pretty blue and dense, as you sprawl away it gets more red. Same for most cities around the country and especially the cool ones - the cooler, the more blue, and the higher density. So the solution is to be cool, live in high density blue places, and you'll find plenty of cool friends and all have plenty of places to walk and ride to. Those cool people who park themselves out in the country will get lonely and tired of spending 10% of thier awake life in a car, and spending $20-40,000 on commuting, and will move blue - and they'll have all that money they save to spend on cool art, and good life, or work less and support more good causes - this is a core lifestyle decision that profiles people very effectively... blue/red, urban/sprawl, cool/not...

Disrupt IT

Thank you Peter...

Wow I never thought I would say this, but thanks to Perter Holmes my current calculations are $8,689.68!!! (That is down from $30.419.84)  I now totally get it... Peter Holmes decided to make my life misserable not to cause harm but protect the environment.  Wow what a great guy!  I should get him a medal in pin it to his chest.