Friday, July 11, 2008

America's top fuel-efficient neighborhoods

This ABC News/Forbes study looks at several factors, including the walkability of these areas, in determining the average cost of transit. This got my thinking about my situation. I recently moved into a high-rise building located next door to my high-rise office building. Although my rent is slightly higher than a comparable place located away from the walkable, urban center of Buckhead, I calculated my car-related savings as follows:

Parking: It costs $90 per month to park in our new office building. Since parking is included in my rent next door, I pocket this $1080 per year.

Gas: I drive a Honda Accord, which costs about $50 to fill up these days. If I lived about 10 miles from work, I'd probably fill up the car about once a week, considering I'd likely also be driving more on the weekends and after work in a non-walkable community. Now I fill up about once a month. So instead of spending about $2600 per year on gas, I'm spending about $600, an annual savings of about $2000.

Maintenance: This is much harder to calculate precisely, but the reduced miles means fewer oil changes, filter changes, tire rotations, etc. I lease my car, so it also means that I'm not exceeding my allowable annual miles per my lease agreement. As an estimate, I'd peg the savings at about $500 per year.

Total: Total savings comes to about $3500 per year. That means I can afford a monthly rent about $300 more than I would pay in a non-walkable community.

The trade-off is well worth it.

No comments: