4.4 Million Miles Of Annual Driving ($704,000 Of Gas) Cut Thanks To Capitol Bikeshare

Members of the Capital Bikeshare service drive 4.4 million miles (198 miles on average per person) less annually. Yep, that’s the average from 22,200 people.

Capital Bikeshare bicycles. Image Credit: Capital Bikeshare
Capital Bikeshare bicycles.
Image Credit: Capital Bikeshare

If these members all drove average cars that achieved 25 MPG, they would have saved 176,000 gallons of gasoline. That translates into gasoline savings of $704,000 per year, assuming a cost of $4 per gallon, and the maintenance savings due to reduced automobile wear make that even better! (On average, each person would have saved $31 of gasoline.)

See how much can be saved even if everyone reduced their annual driving by as little as 198 miles annually?

Imagine the savings if it was 1,000 miles annually. That would be $160 per person, $3.55 million combined, or a total of 22 million miles. Five times more.

Here are some more interesting stats from the survey via Streetsblog:

61 percent of respondents say they ride Metrorail less often and 52 percent ride a bus less often. On the plus side, though, 50 percent drive less often.

For any given trip, if bike-share hadn’t been available, 44 percent would have taken a bus or train, 38 percent would have walked, 5 percent would have ridden their own bike, and 4 percent would have driven.


The fact that the members drive 198 miles less annually shows they are using this program very lightly, though. This is probably caused by the fact that many or most members don’t actually use the program most of the time, bringing the average down.

Also, as you can see in the stats above, it’s main user base are not primarily drivers in the first place. Nonetheless, the 50% of drivers who drove less often are helping to reduce one of the worst types of energy-related air pollution, which is automobile tailpipe emissions.

Automobile tailpipe emissions are particularly important because automobiles drive through residential areas in which people live, exposing everyone to toxic substances such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and soot, no matter where they are. Plus, there’s the whole global warming ramification….

6 thoughts on “4.4 Million Miles Of Annual Driving ($704,000 Of Gas) Cut Thanks To Capitol Bikeshare”

  1. Amanda Klepper

    This article is very confusing. 65% of users did not drive less at all, but 50% of members drove less (are members and users different groups?), but only 4% of bikeshare members would have driven if not for bikeshare, but bikeshare still reduced auto use by 4.4 million miles?

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