|While our new Intercounty Connector Commuter Bus Routes don't actually go into downtown D.C., they're helping Washington area commuters to save their drive for the office - and save money too.|
We had the opportunity to check out the new ICC buses before they hit the road last fall, and the experience was comforting. These are heavy-duty, long-haul luxury wagons, built to ease the stress of commuting. But what we’ve found out since then makes us want to leave our car at home all the time. For those of you who are enjoying the angst-free commute that the ICC Commuter Bus Routes offer around greater DC already, this is going to make you feel even better. Probably smarter, too.
Our back of the envelope calculations show that commuters who take advantage of these new routes have the potential to save more than $10,000 a year. That’s no typo. That’s ten thousand dollars. Every year.
Here are the numbers. Let’s use the route of the ICC Commuter Bus 201 as an example. According to Mapquest.com, it’s 46 miles from Gaithersburg to BWI, and takes about one hour and eight minutes by car. (Taking the Commuter Bus #201 is all of seven minutes longer, with a trip-time length of one hour and fifteen minutes.) With a round-trip of 92 miles, and based on the IRS standard calculation of $.51 per mile deduction, the cost of a daily car commute on that journey is $47.00. Add in the $4. toll for a peak-hour car commute on the ICC, and you’re talking $55. a day, every day you commute. That’s $275 a week, $1100 a month, $13,200 a year to get to and from work. We’re not accountants, of course, and your numbers may vary depending on lots of variables, but if commuting is an out-of-pocket cost for you, you’d have to earn about $20,000 a year gross just to net out enough to pay for your commute. Yikes.
Now consider the cost of taking an ICC Commuter Bus. While individual trips are $5 apiece, a monthly pass can bring your cost to as low as $3.60 per trip. Multiply the monthly pass cost of $144.50 x 12 months and you’ll end up with a total expense of $1,734. For the entire year.
Subtract the yearly cost of a monthly pass from the yearly cost of a car commute ($13,200 – $1,734) and you’ll end up with a savings of $11,460.
Hard to believe? We found it “incredible” too, in the original sense of the word. So if you can find some holes in those numbers, we’d love to hear about it.
Meanwhile, imagine yourself chillin’, reading or resting on the ride to work while you’re saving money at the same time, and you’ll have even more reasons to check out the ICC Commuter Bus that works best for you.