| How much does it really cost to drive?
The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission has recently released
an update of its widely-distributed True Cost of Driving brochure, originally
produced in 1997. The brochure identifies both direct and indirect costs of driving.
Direct costs are those a driver pays; indirect costs are hidden costs borne by
Most people only consider the direct costs of driving: purchasing and maintaining
a car, and paying for gas and oil, insurance, registration and parking. Costs
associated with automobile use that are often not considered include road construction
and maintenance (paid via taxes and fees), air pollution, cost of emergency medical
and road service and more. Since those costs aren’t paid directly by car
owners but are shared by the general population including non-drivers, they usually
aren’t calculated as costs of driving.
The True Cost of Driving brochure includes a short calculation sheet for readers
to calculate their own driving costs based on their annual vehicle mileage. Once
all costs are considered, it quickly becomes clear that driving a car costs a
lot more than commonly thought. The true cost of driving is $1.19/mile. For many
trips, it might make more sense to ride a bike, take a bus, vanpool, carpool,
walk or telecommute.
Using more sustainable transportation can not only save money, it can improve
air quality, reduce noise and stress, and improve the quality of life for everyone
in the community.
Calculate the true cost of your driving. For a free copy of The True Cost of Driving,
call the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission at 460-3200 or download
the brochure at Commute