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Let’s examine the costs of public transportation vs riding a bike. Depending on where you live, you may save more money purchasing and riding a bike.

Riding a bike has long been a cost-effective way of getting around.  Whether you’re commuting to work or meeting a friend for coffee, swapping your regular means of transportation for a bike will save you a lot of money in the long run while also helping you boost your levels of daily exercise.

While trading in your car for a bike will net you staggering levels of savings (over $7,500 a year), you can still save big even if you usually rely just on public transportation.  While public transportation doesn’t force you to fork over money for gas, repairs, or insurance, the money you spend on bus fare, trains, and rideshare services stacks up over time.  We’ll look at how much money you can save every month/year by riding a bike instead of using public transportation.

The Cost of Public Transport

The cost of taking public transportation depends on the means of transportation you typically use.  If your primary means of transportation is the bus, then you’ll only be spending around $1.75 per ride depending on the city.  But if you rely on Uber or Lyft to get to work each day, then this can cost you closer to $10-40 per ride depending on the distance and whether or not you’re going during rush hour.

If we factor together public transportation options such as taxis, buses, subways, trains, trams/streetcars, ferries, and ridesharing, then the average person without a car will spend around $1000 per year on public transportation.  This is a pretty hefty price tag when there’s a cheaper alternative.

The Cost of Riding a Bike

Riding a bike around every day may be cheap, but it isn’t free.  If you go for a cheaper model upfront, you’ll regret it in the long run with high maintenance costs.  The minimum that a new bike should cost you is roughly $500.  Any bike above $500 will usually give you the best value for your money.  You will also need to get some extra gear such as a sturdy helmet, a bike lock, a tire pump, and bike lights.  If you live in a colder area, then you’ll need a good jacket and pair of gloves.  This raises the total cost of investing in a bike to around $700.

Don’t forget to factor in maintenance costs for the bike, too.  This will amount to around $150 per year if you’re a frequent rider, as you’ll need to regularly lube the bike, clean and change the tires, and fix any problems that arise.

Doing the Math

Adding all of this together, you can expect to save about $150 in your first year of owning a bike.  However, in future years, you’ll save roughly $850 a year in transportation costs, which works out to around $71 a month.  This is the kind of regular savings that you’ll be sure to notice in the long run!

Want to make the switch, but don’t have a bike to start? We have a great selection of electric bikes and more to choose from!