Ways to Save on Transportation Costs
Carpooling occurs when two or more people share a ride. The pros of carpooling involve saving money on tolls, parking, and fuel. While it sounds nice, carpooling isn’t often the best solution for most people, and the reason for this is, well, people. When you take a diverse group of people, and lock them in a vehicle for a period of time, things can become stressful.
If you’d like to start a carpool, it’s wise to speak with those involved about certain topics such as smoking in the vehicle, pets, music, and share contact information. However, all things considered, many people love their carpooling groups. As long as they are planned correctly, a carpool or rideshare group can enjoy many years of money saving drives. If carpooling is something you find intriguing, may we suggest the following websites and apps to help you get started:
Use Public Transportation
While traveling by bus or rail does not give you the privacy you get when driving your car, it’s a huge money saver. In fact, did you know that a good portion of New York City’s citizens do not own cars, but use public transportation. When you engage in public transportation, you’ll save money on fuel, vehicle maintenance, insurance and parking. You can add up the money you’d save taking public transportation, and open up a mutual fund, save for a vacation, new furniture, put it towards the down payment of a house, or a host of other things.
The most obvious savings you’ll note are the fuel savings. Quite frankly, by using public transportation, you won’t have to pay at the pump as often as you did when you used your car for daily commutes. Find the lowest possible gas prices in your immediate area. Sites that can help you find the best deal on fuel prices include Gas Buddy Gas buddy also has a plethora of other useful tools such as a trip cost calculator, outage tracker and gas price map, among others. Other helpful sites that help you find cheap gas or make efficient road plans include:
Car Payments and Insurance
Let’s face it, cars, whether new or used, are definitely not cheap. Not only that, but they begin to lose value the moment you purchase them. According to Dave Ramsey, a newly purchased car will lose up to 60 percent of its overall value in just five years, and have an average, monthly car payment of $545 per month When you factor in the average annual cost of car insurance, $941.65, you’re looking at a total yearly cost of $7,481.65.
This means that if you had dependable and reliable public transportation in your city, and ditched your car in favor of taking public transport, you’d be able to take that $7,481.65 and invest it in a no-load mutual fund. In fact, by doing so, and taking that $7,481.65 and investing it in a mutual fund every year, you’d have a pretty nice retirement nest egg for yourself!
Traveling either by transit rail or intercity rail definitely saves commuters cash, especially those with long commutes. For instance, rail travel allows people who live in Indiana, to attend school or work in Chicago, or those who live in upstate New York, to commute to Manhattan. Travel by rail is efficient, inexpensive and dependable. The only issue, is that passengers are bound by the timetables set by the train, which can be a problem for some.
Travel by bus is the most popular form of transportation in many cities. This efficient and relatively cheap way to travel, helps people to get around their city quite easily. As with train transportation, the only real downside is having to wait for the buses arrival. However, with the advent of public transportation apps, riders know when their bus is coming, and can make proper arrangements.
Public Transportation Passes
Urban transportation centers such as New York, do what they can to make their city accessible to everyone by offering transportation passes. These passes are good for a certain amount of time, and provide riders with considerable savings. New York, for instance, offers its citizens a 7 day, unlimited pass for $33.00, and a 30 day unlimited pass for $127. Check with the public transportation department in your city to check out how much you can save. Finally, though free public transportation is hard to come by, there are certain cities across the globe that do provide it to their citizens and tourists, so if you’ve a mind to, see if your city is on the list.
Become a Hypermiler
Hypermilers are those drivers who have turned saving fuel into an art. Hypermilers take advantage of as many fuel-saving methods as they possibly can, in order to squeeze the most out of their miles. In fact, you can find many hypermilers congregating at their online community, cleanmpg.com . Some of the techniques hypermilers use include:
- Overinflating tires
- Driving with the windows closed with no A/C
- Planning routes with the least starts and stops
- Riding in the ridge, or riding the painted white line
- Coast as much as possible, especially when stopping
- Eliminate junk from your trunk
- Pulse and glide technique
The above are only a few of the fuel-saving techniques utilized by hypermilers. In fact, hypermilers are so serious about their ability to save at the pump, that they even attend Hybrid Fests, where hypermilers compete to see who can save the most fuel!
The Urban Scooter Phenomenon
Look around any urban center, and you’ll find people transporting themselves via kick or electric scooters. These inexpensive modes of personal transport can be rented from companies like Bird, Skip, Spin and Lime or purchased for a budget-friendly sum only on sites like Walmart, Target or Amazon.
These scooters pay for themselves in no time. Say you reside in a city, and are searching to save a little money. If you purchase a top of the line electric kick scooter for $400, and your monthly bus pass is $125.00, you’ll have that scooter paying for itself in no time. Once it’s paid off, you’re annual transportation costs would have dropped considerably.
Both electric and kick scooters also come with a variety of accessories, and some even have seats. Accessories include small storage bags that fit on the front handles. A Razor EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter has a price tag that runs around $600, and comes complete with a 500 watt motor, 16 inch pneumatic tires, a back luggage rack and comfortable seat. At a price of $600, you can see how soon it will pay for itself.
Hopefully, our small guide on the best ways to save money on transportation, helped some of you grapple with the act of cost cutting. If becoming a hypermiler is new to you, then take the lead and look into it further. Join a few forums and talk with others, and learn their hints for saving at the pump. If that’s not your cup of tea, then look into electric or kick scooters, as well as skateboards and bicycles. Finally, if public transportation is more your thing, check into the various passes and special discounts that your city offers. We’re sure that by looking into these options, as well as others, you’ll be better able to sift through all of the options, to find the right fit, just for you.