We are all aware of the financial argument for using public transportation — it is way, way cheaper. Weighing out the costs and benefits is tricky, but the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) monthly Transit Savings Reports have made it beautifully clear. Ranking the savings for the 20 cities with the highest rates of public transportation use, the latest report finds that they span from $1,343 per month (New York, #1), to $877 per month (Dallas, #20). These figures are calculated by comparing the cost of a monthly transit pass to the cost of gas, parking, and other variables such as insurance, tires, and maintenance. Parking costs alone average almost $2,000 annually, according to APTA.
While it’s hard to weigh out the benefit of having a private vehicle (even as a New Yorker, I dream of trading in my Metrocard for a car that will be sitting outside my doorstep come winter), its hard to argue with saving $16,114 a year. With the national average totaling almost $800 a month in savings, one could still use taxis and/or rental cars as needed and come out with a lot of extra cash. Not to mention, not driving oneself can cut stress, improve health, and allow time for reading, checking emails, etc.
As an individual choosing to go car-free, the financial benefits well outweigh any cons (I’ll take that Caribbean vacation in exchange for walking to the bus, thanks!), but in a 2-person household, which is what these figures are based off of, it’s even so much easier eliminating one car. Enjoy the chart for August, and go here to calculate your own savings.