The actual cost of driving

Your November 18th article “Campus responds to decreasing gas prices” gave an incomplete analysis of the true cost of driving. The article stated the cost of driving 140 miles from Champaign to Chicago is $8.50 ($0.06/mile).

However gas was the only cost considered in the comparison, and gas only accounts for a fraction of the actual cost of driving.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the variable cost of driving was $0.15/mile in 2006. This gives a total cost of $21. However, if the cost of owning a car is included, the cost for the trip jumps to $72.80 ($0.52/mile).

Cars are often considered to be a given in our society while the actual cost of owning and operating one is ignored or misrepresented. Anyone looking to trim the fat from their budget should seriously consider if not owning a car is a viable option.

City buses, bicycles, trains, and charter buses can be a very inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative to driving.

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