Letters to the Editor

Travel cost estimates misleading, accountant writes

Re: Higher ridership key to ending financial woes (Letters, Oct. 10)

As a chartered accountant, I find Mr.  Jones’ simplistic approach to the cost of a daily round trip for two by car from the West Shore to downtown is misleading. He costs a car trip at $3 for gas and $2 for parking. A more appropriate measure would include costs for gas, depreciation, maintenance and insurance.

Based on a 30-kilometre round trip and a 60 per cent use of car for commuter travel my calculation is very close to $16.50 per day. Add downtown parking at $10 per day and we have a comparative cost of $ 26.50.

By personal observation on this route, more than 75 per cent of commuter vehicles are single-passenger. So the meaningful cost comparison for the majority of commuters is $26.50 by car against $5 for public transit. Double up the passenger load and save $13.25 a day. That’s almost $3,000 after tax per year, to say nothing about reducing the Colwood crawl.

Even if transit fares were increased by 50 per cent, the regular commuter is still getting a great deal. Want to seriously get transit ridership up? Increase gas tax by at least $1 per litre, but exclude commercial vehicles.

The carrot of low-cost public transit on its own has been proven not to be a sufficient incentive in the Capital Region.

We need a strong disincentive for car usage that hits where it is taken seriously: the wallet.

I would suggest that if you work downtown, you could choose to live closer, as I did, in a smaller and more expensive house, saving on travel costs and time.

James McMillan

Victoria

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Radon gas can seep into home, cause lung cancer
 
Watch the fur fly
 
Editorial Cartoon

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Nov 21 edition online now. Browse the archives.