William Thien

Installing Trains for Commuters VS. Commutes by Auto

Posted on: November 20, 2014

I recently became involved in a debate regarding commuting via train or automobile into and out of urban areas from surrounding suburbs and here is some interesting math. The numbers are averaged but they tell us quite a bit.


Let’s do some basic math.

If the monthly payment for a car is let’s say $400 and the insurance is $75 while the car is being paid off, that’s $475 a month. But then if you add $60 per week for fuel to commute into the city, that’s another $240 per month. Now your total is $715 per month.

If your taxes go up $20 a year to pay for the train system and the cost of your fare for twenty rides per month is $3.00 per day, that’s $60 per month times two, there and back, or $120 per month.

Now let’s multiply those numbers by twelve.

By car, your costs are $715 per month times twelve or $8,580 per year.

By train you cost is $20 in extra taxes per year and $1440, or $1460 per year.

Now, subtracting $1460 from $8580 you get $7140 per year.

A person can do a lot with $7140 per year savings if they can take the train. And, businesses who can expect their employees to arrive on time can be more efficient.

If you ask me, there is something substantial to be said for installing trains to cover transportation into and out of the city to the surrounding counties, using the math at least, even with tax subsidies. The rest of the developed world has recognized that fact for some time.

Furthermore, I’m guessing that taking care of dedicated track costs much less than resurfacing these freeways (misnomer) every two years which seems to go on forever and ever and the cost of repairs to your automobiles as well as you run over pot hole after pot hole left over after the brutal winters we have been having year in and year out.

Copyright © William Thien 2014

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