Want a New Car? Take the Bus

Posted: Mar 15, 2011 10:07 a.m.

As gas prices rise, and filling up your Honda Civic gets increasingly painful, riding the bus sounds like a better option. Sure, you’ll add thirty minutes to your commute, but according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), you can save up to $1,198 a month depending on where you live. Yes, that’s nearly $1,200 a month.

Unbelievable? Here’s how the American Public Transportation Association broke it down in its “Transit Savings Report.” First, the report focuses how much money someone in a two-person household can save if they use public transportation and get rid of one car. The APTA looked at the cost of city parking and cities with the highest transit ridership. “The national average for a monthly unreserved parking space in a downtown business district is $161.56, according to the 2010 Colliers International Parking Rate Study,” the APTA explains. “Over the course of a year, parking costs for a vehicle can amount to an average of $1,939. The top 20 cities with the highest transit ridership are ranked in order of their transit savings based on the purchase of a monthly public transit pass and factoring in local gas prices for March 4, 2011 and the local monthly unreserved parking rate.”

New York residents who use public transit can save $1,198 each month, which equates to $14,376 in savings annually. That’s more than the base price for the Ford Fiesta. In Boston, you can save $1,099 monthly and $13,188 annually. Taking the bus or metro at the nation’s capital – number fifteen on APTA’s list – will save you $829 a month or $9,944 a year. The last city on the list, Las Vegas, has transit savings of $764 monthly or $9,163 annually.

Sure, a long bus ride can be a pain, but with savings topping $9,000 a year, grabbing a newspaper, turning on your iPod and heading to the bus stop is an economical alternative that’s hard to turn down.

Looking to spend all that money you saved by taking the bus on a new car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter.