There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I love Google Transit and its developers!

The Derek at My 'Not' so Ordinary Day alerted me today to a cool new feature at Google Transit, the world's absolutely best, most wonderful, innovative new concept in helping people get around on transit. And, best of all, get around on transit in Sacramento using Sacramento Regional Transit.

Here's a screen shot of what's new:
Instant gratification for taking the bus! Sure, it's $2.25 for the bus, but it would cost $4.85 to make the same trip in a car.

When you think about it, this is the sort of "easy" thing that you can do once you get the basic information. Google already knows the distance of the trip. All it needs to do is multiply that by the per-mile cost of owning a car.

As Google Transit explains:

How do you estimate the cost of driving in the US?

Cost of driving is based on the average mileage for the shortest route between your start and end addresses, multiplied by the cost per mile that the IRS allows businesses to deduct.

According to the IRS, these rates "are based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile." Runzheimer International, an independent contractor, conducted the study for the IRS. However, this is only an estimate and doesn't consider tolls, parking fees, or variations in gas mileage for different types of cars.
Simply too cool!


M1EK said...

The IRS figures assume depreciation by mile - which they have to do in order to give you some credit for using your personal car for business; not because that's a rational way to do it with your own car and your own trips.

More here:

Unknown said...

I wrote a blog post (here) about the American Automobile Association's estimate of the price of operating a car. I don't know if AAA's 52.2 cents for an average passenger vehicle is more or less than what the IRS allows. What's important is the real savings transit offers.

Putting that info right next to fare is a nice touch (but maybe not always. ;-) )