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#1 2012-03-20 17:19:27

MichaelBluejay
Webmaster
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,168
Website

Google Maps now shows cost of driving

When you get bus directions in Google Maps, it now shows you the cost of the bus fare, plus how much it would have cost to drive.  What's more, the cost of driving is usually higher.

That's because Google has chosen to use the amortized cost of the vehicle in their figure, rather than just the marginal cost of driving (gas).  So, for example, a 3.3-mile trip from my house to Mr. Natural shows as $1.00 for the bus, vs. $1.93 driving.

Some are gonna argue that Google should show only the marginal (gas) cost of driving, but on the other hand, you can't drive your car unless you've bought one, and the more you drive it, the more you'll pay for maintenance.

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#2 2012-03-20 18:07:52

CharlesDuffy
Member
Registered: 2009-07-03
Posts: 56

Re: Google Maps now shows cost of driving

On a related note, I'm disappointed that MileMeter (an auto insurance company with services priced by distance traveled) is now out of business -- having a fixed minimum price-per-mile I could keep in my head (my rate was $0.11/mi for full coverage) made it easy to justify commuting by bike+train -- the train fare was break-even considering only insurance costs, before adding savings from avoiding gas/repairs/other marginal costs.

It's easy to forget just how expensive driving is; always good to have more tools that help keep that in mind.

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#3 2012-03-21 12:37:00

damicoaustin
Member
From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 143
Website

Re: Google Maps now shows cost of driving

Many insurance companies offer some kind of break if you tell them how low your mileage is...some offer to install a device that measure mileage and other driving performance (e.g. speed), but I'm not in to that big brother stuff.

On the topic of saving money in general. I signed up with Nuride.com a long time ago when they came out. Most of the "rewards" you get for riding are pretty tame and don't appeal to my taste, but there are a few good ones. In particular, if you have enough points (which is easy to achieve with commuting) you can get a $5 off H-E-B every two weeks. That's $10 a month, enough for a whole six pack of quality beer.

And let's not forget the whopping $20 per month that employers can OPT to give you as reimbursement for bicycle related expenses tax free. Unlike transit and parking benefits, which the employee can pay for tax free out of their paychecks, the bike reimbursement has to be from the employer.

(On a side note, the transit pre-tax benefit went down from a max of $230 to $125 this year, while the parking pre-tax benefit went up from $230 to $240. Got to love Congress incentivizing more driving!)

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#4 2012-03-21 21:29:20

bizikletari
Member
Registered: 2009-03-18
Posts: 223

Re: Google Maps now shows cost of driving

I'd be happy if UT accepted to opt in in that $20 dollars a month tax credit. I was pestering the union people at UT, but to no avail.
I don't get, they just don't want to participate in a program that, I believe, won't cost them a cent and yet it would make the LAB believe UT wants to promote cycling, and green and stuff.

$20 a month would pay like week worth of espressi.

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