The true cost of driving to work
It’s no secret that government policy has for years supported a car economy and that driving has been relatively cheap. But as our road network struggles to cope with the volume of traffic and petrol prices rise so does the financial cost of commuting by car.
The AA estimates the standing and running costs of a car worth less than £12000 and driven 10 000 miles a year is £0.46/mile. However, in slow traffic fuel efficiency is reduced. On average, traffic in greater Bristol moves at 15mph and at peak times may be less than 10mph. At these speeds fuel efficiency is more than halved. The fuel component of the £0.46 is £0.14 per mile, therefore a more realistic cost for commuting in heavy traffic is £0.60 per mile. Which means, on a bad day, the cost of a 10 mile commute could be approaching £6.00 (one way).
In this American info-graphic, they go one step further and itemise not just the fuel and standing costs of car ownership, but how the time we spend behind the wheel affects our salary. It’s an interesting idea: factor in our time and the cost of commuting is even higher.
However, any journey to work is going to take some time. And we can’t all work from home or even live close to where we work; we need to travel.
In Silicon Valley, the major technology companies offer luxury work shuttle buses as a perk to their employees. The buses have high-speed internet and plush leather seats. They reduce traffic congestion, create transportation jobs, and, in a city where land is expensive, they are able to expand their workforce without committing land to car-parking. But, most importantly, the passengers love it. Wiltse Carpenter, a 45 year old software engineer says of going to work by shuttle bus “It’s changed my quality of life.”
Time is money. Or rather, time is valuable. In the Silicon Valley, quality transport services which give people time by both reducing the length of their journey and freeing them from driving, so they can do something less frustrating instead, has changed the economics of driving.
That’s what we’d like to do in Bristol.
What do you think?
How do you feel about driving to work? What would persuade you to change how you travel?
We’d love to hear your views.