Lower Your Costs
- For short trips, leave your car behind and go by foot. Visit www.walkinginfo.org for information about walking safety and encouraging walking in your community.
- Choose places you can walk to: type your address into Walk Score to find nearby destinations.
- Take your bike: you can cover more distance on a bicycle than on foot, and in traffic biking can be faster than driving. Visit bicyclesafe.com or bicyclinginfo.org to learn more.
- Find bike routes, paths, and parking at OpenCycleMap.org.
- Get car-free directions with Google Maps. Choose “Walking” or “Bicycling” from the pull-down menu instead of the default “By car”.
- Get motivated to exercise: measure a walking or biking route with the Gmaps Pedometer. The calculator will tell you how long your route is, and even how many calories you’ll burn.
Take Public Transit!
Share a car!
- Join a car-sharing program. If you drive less than 7,500 miles a year and don’t use a car every day, car sharing can save you thousands. Visit www.carsharing.net to learn more.
- If you’re in Chicago, join I-GO!
- Use this calculator from New Jersey’s Department of Transportation to see how much you could save by walking, biking, or sharing the ride.
- Carpool: if you share the driving with just one other person, you’ll reduce your fuel costs by half. And you can use the carpool lane!
- Find someone to share the ride with. Use a rideshare matchmaking website like eRideShare.com or Zimride to find a buddy. If you’re in the Denver area, try RideArrangers.
- Telecommute: reduce your commute to nothing by working from home.
If you have to drive…
Spend less on your car
- Reduce the number of cars in your household. By getting rid of a car that you can do without, you could save $5,716 a year (American Public Transportation Association).
- Find out the direct and indirect costs of your driving, and see where you can improve, with this calculator from commutesolutions.org.
- Before buying a car, calculate its true cost at edmunds.com. This calculator will tell you a car’s cost over time, including maintenance, fuel and insurance.
- Review your car’s cost per mile according to AAA to see what you can expect to pay, as well as tips on how to reduce this number.
- Reduce your insurance premium, which is likely based in part on your annual mileage. If you reduce your driving, your insurance cost could go down.
- Skip rush hour: if you can, adjust your work hours to avoid traffic. The average rush-hour commuter wastes 99 gallons of gas and $1,160 worth of their time each year sitting in traffic (Center for Transportation Excellence).
- Use the grade of gas (regular, premium, etc.) that your car’s owner’s manual recommends. Most cars run fine on regular, and so using a higher grade is just a waste of money (Consumer Energy Center).
- Browse Commuter Choice’s list of commute-easing alternatives, including resources specific to your own city.
Be more fuel efficient