Monday, 12 August 2013

Travel to work

What does it cost to get to work?

There are many ways of calculating the household cost of driving. We could dedicate a whole other blog to the environmental and social costs - but not tonight. The purpose of the table below is to show some of our thinking around the cost of travel to work. So to make it easy we've worked out the cost based on mileage reimbursement in Australia (for 2012). For a small car, like ours with an engine capacity of 1.6l or less it's 63c per kilometre. If your car has an engine capacity of 2.6l or more it's 75c per kilometre. 

A daily public transport ticket (in Melbourne) costs $11.84 (for zones 1 and 2) and $4.84 (for zone 2 only).

As for running or cycling to work it's pretty much free - aside from the extra food needed to fuel the body; and it makes your legs look great!

So every day we catch public transport (and don't drive) we save $8.52! And if we cycle or run to work the savings are even bigger.

It's worth remembering that we live 28km from the centre of Melbourne, and at present neither of us work in town. However when we bought our house (2 years ago this weekend!) we were looking for property that was within a 10 minute walk of the Belgrave / Lillydale train lines. This criteria was an absolute deal breaker - we didn't view any houses where we couldn't comfortably walk to a train station on these lines. We own one (small) car and neither of us have any desire to be dependent on a car as the only means of travelling to work every day.

How do we travel to work?

Clearly if you've been reading our blog you'll have worked out that our default option is not driving.

Most days Stephen gets a train into Richmond and then changes lines. Nicole gets 'SmartBus' from the end of the street direct to work. Stephen is a fair weather cyclist (which is understandable given it's an almost 60km round trip) and Nicole mixes up the bus to work with cycling or running to work. That's not to say we never drive to work - we both drive on average once a fortnight, depending on late night meetings or early starts.

But don't you just hate public transport?

No. We use the time to play games on the iPad (one of us - Nicole - is obsessed with Candy Crush), watch podcasts, catch up on the news or listen to music. What ever it is that we're doing we don't descend into road rage. An added bonus is sometimes it can be quite sociable, Nicole regularly sees friends and colleagues on the bus.

We'd love to know what you think - and how you travel to work, feel free to comment.

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