Costing out Caltrain
I bought my monthly Caltrain pass yesterday. Along with a parking permit, it came to $189 (Caltrain charges by the zone; this happens to be zone 2 to zone 4). Taking the train saves me about 45 miles of driving per day, so to break even, if I take the train 20 days a month, driving would have to coast me 21¢/mile.
I get about 30 mpg, so with gas around $3/gallon, that’s 10¢/mile, leaving 11¢ to account for. I won’t count insurance, since it’s not going to change whether I drive the extra miles or not. Likewise, my 1997 Civic already has 250,000 miles on it, so depreciation isn’t much of a factor any more.
If I get 40,000 miles on a set of $400 tires, that’s only a penny a mile. I probably spend around $1000/year on maintenance and repairs (wild guess, but I’m religious about maintenance, and it’s an old car), so at 20,000 miles/year (long commute), that’s 5¢/mile.
Doesn’t seem like that great a deal, does it? I’m a little surprised. Maybe I misplaced a decimal; somebody check my work.