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Monday, December 31, 2007

The cost of transportation

(Guest post by Bikeboy. This is very similar to a post I put on my "Bike Nazi" blog. I'm also posting it here, because I'm confident it's of interest to public transit advocates.)

We got the memo at the office last Friday. It reads like this:

Effective January 1, 2008, the mileage reimbursement rate for the use of personal cars in conjunction with company business will be increased to 50.5¢ per mile, up from the current 48.5¢. The new rate is consistent with the maximum standard mileage rate currently authorized by the IRS.

Of course, the cost for using your car for personal business is about the same, but you don't get reimbursed. You just write out the checks... for gas, and for car payments, tires, repair expenses, parking, insurance, etc., etc. (It's easy to just consider the cost of fuel, since it comes up the most regularly.)

The IRS allowance is probably a somewhat-accurate indicator of what the actual cost is, to operate a motor vehicle. Could you save money by leaving the car home and taking the bus? There's a good chance of it. (ValleyRide just released their 2008 fare schedule - a local trip remains flat at $1.)

1 comment:

Julie Fanselow said...

Bikeboy, thanks very much for posting this (and getting something new up on the Bus Blog during my long absence).

I've seen similar figures cited; there's no doubt that the true cost of operating a car is at least in this range - more if you factor in the societal costs of congestion, air pollution, etc.