If you regularly take the subway, take a moment to pat yourself on the back. Not only are you helping the environment, but you’re also helping your wallet. A new study released by the American Public Transportation Association shows that because of soaring gas prices and parking rates, New Yorkers can save up to $14,750 every year if they ditch their cars and hop on the train. We all know the environmental benefits of forgoing cars, but now we have even more reason to pick up our MetroCards instead of our car keys!
To calculate the savings, the APTA compared the cost of a monthly MetroCard, $104, with APTA’s average cost of driving formula. The formula take into account fixed costs like insurance, license registration, depreciation, and finance charges, as well as variable costs like gas, maintenance, and tires.
The formula also assumes that the average person would drive 15,000 miles a year or 41 miles per day, a fact that Benjamin Kabak at Second Avenue Sagas takes issue with in regards to New Yorkers’ driving habits:
I have to believe these numbers are slightly inflated for New Yorkers. It doesn’t seem to consider the fact that many daily subway riders are still car-owners, and it seems to overestimate mileage totals. A trip from Bergen Beach to Midtown, for instance, is only 13 miles one way, and someone driving from Riverdale to Lower Manhattan would put less than 30 miles on their car.
While Kabak has a good point, there is still no doubt that the savings we reap from taking public transportation are quite high compared to the cost of owning a car — no matter how you do the math. So even if it hurts a little bit every month when you plop down 100 big ones for that new subway pass, take comfort in the fact that every ride you take is like money in your pocket.
You can see the results for the nation’s top 20 public transportation cities here.