How cost effective is riding your bike or walking? Bike advocates often point out how much people can save by driving less, but their general numbers are tough to translate to a personal level. The Saving Electricity site has come up with a biking vs. driving calculator that lets peeps plug in the numbers for their personal situation.
The calculator takes into account gas, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation. On the “not driving” side, it includes the cost of a bicycle, as well as costs for buses, taxis, and car-sharing. It also allows you to change your assumptions about how much you’ll earn on the money you save by not driving.
The sites states:
Riding your bike can make you a millionaire! You’re paying more for your car than you think. A typical American who goes car-free for 35 years can save nearly a million dollars, even adjusted for inflation, and even if they pay for taxi, bus, and car-share trips often. Use the calculator to find how much you can save in your particular situation.
In 2009, I gave up my car (although we still have a family car – an earth shattering four wheel drive) but we use this as our family car to and from sporting events, weekend trips etc too far to walk. We walk to school most of the time and walk around our local community. I spend 70% of my time riding, getting the bus, plane or train. In the summer, I ride to meetings 90% of the time.
Have I missed my car… not one bit. The up side, I get to eat more chocolate. Has it made me a millionaire? Not quite.