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Commuting by Tesla is cheaper than public transport

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by badaoui51, May 9, 2019.

  1. badaoui51

    badaoui51 Member

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    Living in a big city, there is always the discussion of whether you drive or take public transport (train, bus, etc.)
    Usually the public transport is the cheapest, fastest way (if it is the train) way to get into your place of work... not any more.

    If you live in Chicago neighborhoods and work downtown, and you commute with at least one other person (in my example, my wife) when you go to work, we have discovered it is cheaper to drive your Tesla than it is to take public transport. Here is my rationale:

    Unless you have no children, live right in the downtown area, and have no regular reason to go out beyond the city radius (such as family visits to the suburbs), you will own a car - that is unavoidable for most people.
    Because of this, you will have to pay all the regular car expenses such as insurance, registration, and at least an annual checkup to ensure the car is still in good working order, even if you don't drive it.
    There are no maintenance liquids required for the Tesla, so all the fuel bill is zero.
    You can get a Mon-Fri parking garage downtown for less than $200/month - plenty of options available. We got one for $180/month.
    The CHEAPEST train passes you can get are $105/month CTA tickets for the train.
    For 2 people = $210/month, however commute time increases by 30 minutes due to walking to the station.

    Travel by Tesla = $180/month + unavoidable expenses for vehicle ownership
    Travel by CTA = $210/month + unavoidable expenses for vehicle ownership
    Saving = $30/month

    One would argue you are driving the vehicle more, increasing wear and tear. However the wear and tear cost would not be more than $30/month. AND some garages have free charging stations inside them, saving you electricity for home charging.

    Everyone's situation is different, but it is looking that we never have a need to commute into work via public transport ever again provided the car is in working order as it is not only faster, but cheaper too. Just thought I would share this.

    FYI - we own a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range
    We have no auto pilot, no plus features, no extras of any kind. The bare basics model, and it works wonderfully. All those extra perks you can get like web browsing, Tesla music streaming, etc. are fun, but not really necessary for regular commuting.
     
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  2. JFChenger

    JFChenger Member

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    Let me start by saying I WANT to agree with you. However, this # is unrealistic. The moment you get into an accident where you are at fault (or someone dings your door/fender, etc at a parking lot w/o leaving a note), that # is out of the window with the typical Tesla repair cost (i.e. higher than normal, or at least higher than 0, which commuting public transit would incur) or associated insurance rate hike if insurance covers most of your repair bills. The % of these happening increase dramatically if this is your daily commute vehicle vs. weekend vehicle to run errands/weekend trips to the suburb.

    Regardless, congrats on the new car and enjoy the ride!
     
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  3. badaoui51

    badaoui51 Member

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    Yes the probability of getting into some kind of accident increases exponentially the more you drive. Based on our previous driving records on our car we used to have, we have had 1 accident where it was our fault over a 15 year ownership period - car slid into the curb during snow storm, bent front suspension. Repair bill for that one came to be $1000. Maybe the Tesla equivalent repair bill comes out to be $5000. $5000 over 15 years = $27/month. Go us!

    We have been lucky so far with driving habits. Hope the little Tesla continues that luck!
     
  4. glide

    glide Member

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    Are you neglecting the initial cost of actually purchasing the vehicle? Seems like that could buy a lot of train rides...
     
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  5. badaoui51

    badaoui51 Member

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    Yes. In this discussion, I am referring to the ongoing expenses for both forms of commuting after purchase.
     
  6. run-the-joules

    run-the-joules Active Member

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    I'd still drive even if it were 20x as much as taking public transit. Quality of life is everything.
     
  7. glide

    glide Member

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    So you’re basically making the numbers say what you want to say and not reflect reality in order to support your argument.

    You may want to change the thread title.
     
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  8. Rottenapplr

    Rottenapplr Member

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    Here’s my justification for driving vs public trans.

    1). I don’t want to interact with random gangsters and gang members. Also weirdo of all walks of life.

    2). I don’t want to sit around or stand around for a bus

    3). My time is worth more than my car payment

    4). I don’t want to smell, sit on urine soak seats



    I did my public trans commute in college and grad school and it’s was fine since it was a good part of town. But in LA, no thank you.

    Now Singapore it’s so clean I wouldn’t mind commuting and selling my Tesla. I could eat on their subway floor, it’s that clean.
     
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  9. 16Coma

    16Coma Member

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    Just say you like the car over public transportation...There's no way your argument would've held up in college/grad school!
     
  10. Knightshade

    Knightshade Active Member

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    That's gonna vary depending where you are though.

    Quality of life taking public transit in, say, Manhattan is much higher than driving a car. Ditto a number of other cities- though probably none on the west coast.
     
  11. run-the-joules

    run-the-joules Active Member

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    Depends what you value, really. I have an aversion to being jammed into a hot, smelly box with people packed shoulder to shoulder. I'll spend much more time to avoid that.
     
  12. GolanB

    GolanB Supporting Member

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    In my case, driving (via the Holland Tunnel) will cost me $12.50 plus the price of energy, which is another 2$ a day, for a total of about $14.50. That same route via public transportation costs me about $10/day (2 trains in each direction) which I can also pay for in pre-tax dollars. This adds up quickly over the course of a year of driving. Until I can benefit from FSD, there are still advantages of riding public transportation, including reading on the train - which is quite comfortable once I transfer for the PATH trains here.

    I rode public transportation today after several months of driving (Model 3 is in service for fractured glass) and I realized how nice it is not to have to deal with NYC traffic. Even LOOKING at it can be frustrating ;)
     
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  13. Leafdriver333

    Leafdriver333 Somewhat Active Member

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    I could bicycle to work and saved $40K toward retirement and retire 5 years early in 20 years.. What?!

    What have I done!!!!
     
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  14. Sandiegodoug

    Sandiegodoug Member

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    I’ll just have my 3 give me a ride to work and then earn 30k a year giving others rides.
    That’s what Elon promised.
     
  15. verystandard

    verystandard Member

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    I really want to agree with you, but here in BC my insurance rate per year is $3850-3900 (19 years driving experience, maximum 43% discount but my wife is less than 10 years driving experience).
     
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  16. afadeev

    afadeev Member

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    I'm thrilled to hear that electricity is free where you live.
    And so are the tires, the brake pads, the car insurance, the monthly payment on the car loan (or forgone earnings on invested capital if you paid cash), and other costs of ongoing vehicle ownership.

    Other than that, you've got right!

    Hmmm, anyone cares to calculate opportunity cost of having a wife!
    :rolleyes:

    a
     
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  17. verystandard

    verystandard Member

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    LOL, sorry i missed out the important piece of info. ICBC (our insurance company) do offers additional discount if the drivers or people who gonna drive the car have 10 years or more driving experience. Sadly my wife doesn't and she only have 5 years. So I have to paid additional $600 per year of insurance just because of that....
     
  18. GolanB

    GolanB Supporting Member

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    At the end of the day, it’s pretty difficult to compete with a subsidized travel program that is public transportation.
     
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  19. Retaw

    Retaw Member

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    If one already has/will buy a Tesla/similar luxury car anyway, this is actually a valid argument.
     
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  20. ModelNforNerd

    ModelNforNerd Active Member

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    Ayer, MA

    fair point, but how do you quantify a "maybe"? The closest you could get is to maybe factor your deductible for each situation, and roll it into your cost per mile calculation.
     

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