• Report: It may actually be cheaper to drive than take public transportation

    By: Jason Law

    Updated:

    BOSTON - Is public transportation costing you more than driving yourself? A new report shows that driving your car may save you in the long run.

    Andy Metzger, a writer for Commonwealth Magazine, says if you want to save money, your car may be the way to go. 

    "Since 1990, the cost of taking the T has increased at a higher rate than the cost of driving at a per 
    mile basis," Metzger said.  

    Metzger spent months crunching the numbers and he determined that it is cheaper to drive your own car than to ride on the T. For example, he says for somebody to travel the 10 miles from Melrose Highlands to North Station, it would cost that driver about $5.29. But if that same person rode the Commuter Rail, it would cost them a dollar more.

    Metzger spent months researching fuel prices and traffic data, and what he found is that as the cost of driving has gone down, the cost for public transportation has gone up - a lot.

    “I had an inkling, because I’ve followed the past few years of fare increases, and some of them have been significant," Metzger said.

    Metzger used his data to chart out the trends over the last 30 years.

    According to his numbers, the cost for public transportation have exceeded the cost of driving.

    Metzger says his report does come with one very large caveat: His numbers don’t account for the price of parking. 

    “Parking is much more expensive than T travel," he said.

    Metzger said his report is more for people who drive into the city for short periods of time, not for people who would have to rely on a parking garage. 

    John DeMarco has ridden on the T every day for 25 years. He prefers it to driving.

    "I’m not as aggravated on the train. I don’t have to put up with traffic that I saw tonight, it was all backed up everywhere," DeMarco said.

    But Shai Verghese of Westford would rather be in her car.

    "Cost is going up, but we’re not getting the service that we deserve and we still have delays," Verghese said.

    On July 1, those MBTA price hikes go into effect.

    When asked what he relies on to get to work, Metzger said he uses a bicycle.

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