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Thoughts on Transit

Is it Cheaper to Take Public Transportation or Drive a Car?

by Ecolane / December 30, 2014

The eternal question of whether to take public transit or to drive to a destination is not an easy one to answer. Typically, it's a question of time and convenience versus cost. Additionally, every trip has to be evaluated and considered based on its own merits.

Price of Fuel

There are a number of considerations that should be taken into account before answering this question. If driving, then the first question to answer is what the fuel cost will be for the trip. Let's say a vehicle gets 28 miles to the gallon in city driving, and it has a 12 gallon tank. At $3 a gallon that is $36 for a full tank lasting roughly 330 miles. Those with more efficient vehicles, or hybrid vehicles, are going to find that fuel is typically less of a concern.

Hidden Fees

Beyond the fuel consumption issue, there may be the question of parking and storage. This might be $5 for a few hours, or as much as $50 or more for an entire day. There's also the issue of navigation (in case someone isn't familiar with the area) as well as security. All of this can add up to a lot more than a couple $20 bills for a trip.

Public transit, on the other hand, has no such hidden fees. The cost of a ticket is the cost of the ticket, plain and simple. So while round-trip train fare to the city might cost you $30, there's no additional fee. Public transit's costs are in time and convenience. Trains, buses, and subways all run on a schedule, and they are less convenient than leaving at an individual preference. The big question that a lot of people hinge their decision on though is whether their transit will run on time?

Time is Money

One of the most appealing behaviors that public transportation can demonstrate is an ability to run on time. Consistency and speed need to be things that commuters can rely on, which is why modern scheduling software is so critical to the organizations providing transit services.

Scheduling software is more than just a method for getting people where they need to be on time; they're a way to save both time and money. Whether it's offering commuters mobile updates on departure and arrival times, routing vehicles more efficiently, or reducing deadhead time and better managing delays, good scheduling software makes a difference. That difference is whether commuters rely on public transportation or decide it's just easier to bite the bullet and drive on their own.

Transit Software

Tags: Transit Trends

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