Most of you reading this no
doubt are public transit friends these days (note I didn’t say CTA friends,
Scooter). And now that gasoline prices have increased almost 43% from a year
ago (Tribune report), public transit should have many new pals.
Here are the stark facts on gas prices, and why using the CTA makes more financial sense than ever.
Price of a gallon of gas in May of 2010: $3.13
Price of a gallon of gas in May of 2011: $4.47
Price of one CTA L ride in May of 2010: $2.25
Now let’s look at the price of a typical commute of 20 miles round
trip – roughly the distance from Howard to State and Lake on the Red Line.
Assumptions for driver: she owns a car that gets 20 miles to the gallon.
In 2010, that daily round trip cost $3.13 for gas alone, excluding parking, insurance and maintenance.
In 2010, a month of 20 round trip commutes cost $62.60.
In 2011, that daily round trip cost $4.47 for gas alone; it was $89.34 for 20 round trips.
Now, let’s look at the cost of that same trip on the CTA.
The price is the same in 2011 as it was in 2010: $4.50 for a round trip. That’s 3 pennies more this year for a CTA round trip this year, but $1.37 more on CTA a year ago – excluding parking, insurance and maintenance.
However, when you factor in the price of a 30-day CTA pass vs. 20 round trips in a car, now you’re saving $3.34 per month on the CTA, plus the price of parking at least. That’s roughly $200 to $250 per month downtown.
Bottom line: It pays more than ever to ride the CTA rather than drive a car.
I gave up my car two years. I’m so glad I did.