I keep hearing that the cost of gas is going up. Is that true?
For the last few weeks, I've been riding the bus for my local transportation needs.
If gas is so expensive, why do I see a half-dozen or so cars idling in the driveway every morning, so they'll be nice and warm for that 10-minute commute? Or the guy who pulled over because he had an icy windshield... but instead of getting out and scraping it, he sat there for 2 or 3 minutes, revving his motor to warm it up to "defrost temperature"?
My bus-riding has given me the opportunity to do an informal, unscientific traffic survey, as I've stood at the place where I catch the bus.
Over the course of 6 or 7 mornings, I've counted 292 "passenger vehicles." (I've deliberately excluded service trucks, delivery vehicles, etc., that normally wouldn't be expected to carry passengers.)
Of those 292 vehicles, 266 had only the driver on board. Over 90% were single-occupant vehicles.
If those folks would take on one passenger, the actual cost of transportation would immediately drop by 50%.
Tell me if I'm wrong.
Of course, allocating expenses fairly would be an issue. Gas is only a small part of the total expense of operating a vehicle, which is typically around 50 cents per mile, depending on who you ask.
An obvious side-benefit of doubling up would be a drastic reduction in road congestion and vehicle emissions. Win-win-win!
On a related note... I paid $32 for a 31-day bus pass. As of this writing, I've ridden 29 times, so I'm almost to the break-even point, as compared with the standard fare of $1 per trip. At 50 cents / mile, that same transportation, in SOV, would've cost me right around 50 bucks, figuring 3.5 miles per trip.
Of course, the bicycle is WAY cheaper than either SOV or bus! I'm so anxious to get back to pedalin'.