Drive or Take the Bus? It's Only Money.

It’s a no-brainer that taking Cherriots is less expensive than buying gasoline, putting mileage on a car and paying for employee parking in downtown Salem. The question is: how much less?

To make a rough cost comparison, Cherriots started with a hypothetical commute.

Imagine a Salem area resident making a 15-mile round trip commute and paying for parking. It costs about $2.69 per gallon to fill the commuter’s newer, fuel-efficient vehicle.

The going rate for a parking space in a downtown Salem garage is in the neighborhood of $55 a month, or about $1.80 per day.

The cost of an annual, adult full-fare pass is $540, or $2.07 per day based on the Cherriots current weekday-only service and no service on major holidays.

Cherriots plugged those numbers into an online calculator developed by the National Alliance of Public Transportation Advocates at http://bit.ly/1cs9Iml. Here are the results:

 

Vehicle: Small car getting 28 mpg.

The yearly cost of a 15-mile round trip, including fuel, parking, maintenance cost: $952.82

The cost of a commute by public transit: $540.00

Total savings by riding Cherriots: $412.82

 

Vehicle: Midsize car getting 24 mpg.

The yearly cost of a 15-mile round trip, including fuel, parking, maintenance cost: $1,031.70

The yearly cost of commute by public transit: $540.00

Total savings by riding Cherriots: $491.70

 

Vehicle: SUV getting 19 mpg

The yearly cost of a 15-mile round trip, including fuel, parking, maintenance cost: $1,146.52

The yearly cost of commute by public transit: $540.00

Total savings by riding Cherriots: $606.52

 

Do your own math. Go to http://bit.ly/1cs9Iml  to determine your cost of commuting by car versus taking the bus.