THE ECONOMIC COST OF COMMUTING

The economic costs of work trips to the central business districts of 33 urban areas of more than one million population are compared according to mode of transportation. The four modes considered are automobile, rail transit, bus transportation, and vanpools. Cost data are based on information available as of January 1, 1975, and results are expressed in terms of dollars per one-way person trips of 5, 10, 15 and 20 miles. A detailed discussion of the 10-mile trip is presented to illustrate the approach used. Results show that automobile travel has a comparatively low cost only when there are sufficient vehicle occupants to share the cost. For the 10-mile trip the estimated cost per person for a single occupant automobile is $3.71, while for the 2 to 6 occupant automobile the cost decreases from $1.86 to $.62. Rail transit is relatively expensive, with the per person cost for the 10-mile trip ranging from $2.25 with bus access to $3.29 with kiss-and-ride access. The cost per person for the 10-mile trip by bus transportation ranges from $1.76 for conventional service to $2.95 for a busway system with kiss-and-ride access. The most economic means of commuting is the eight-or-more person vanpool with a cost per person for the 10-mile trip of $.54. Calculations showing how these costs were determined are included in an appendix to the report.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Highway Users Federation for Safety and Mobility

    1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20036
  • Authors:
    • Reed Jr, M F
  • Publication Date: 1975-7-24

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Tables;
  • Pagination: 22 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00126483
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Tech Study Memo 13
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 16 1981 12:00AM