Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Way to Save Gas and Reduce Air Pollution Emissions

I've been looking for ways to off-set the effects of the larger amount of gasoline I'm burning now that I have shifted from a Prius to a Scion. I think I have found it in the state van-pool system.

As of August 6, I have become a member of a van-pool that runs between Five Points, about a mile and a half from my home, and downtown Dover. I don't expect to ride it every day, but I have been keeping track and find, so far, that I ride the van a bit more than three quarters of the time. (I'm curious to see whether or not the pie chart at right will update here as I enter new data in mycrocosm; adding it as a graphic here is partly an experiment)

UPDATE: The mycrocosm site has recently added the ability to post linked dynamic versions of these charts. I have replaced the old static version with the linked version at right. Though it is bigger, and technically dynamic, I am interested to note that the ratio of Car to Vanpool is just about what it was when I first posted this.

There are (I think) 14 members of this van-pool; we've never all been on the van at the same time, at least not in my brief experience. The members share a $525 monthly rental fee that covers the van, gas, roadside assistance and a guaranteed ride home (if something odd happens). A subset of members pay a bit less but share the driving chores. My cost is about $40 a month.

I have averaged 33.3 miles per gallon in the Scion over the first 1,488 miles I've driven. My cost, not counting oil and other maintenance, has averaged eleven cents a mile. My commute is about 80 miles round-trip. That costs me about $8.80 a day. Allowing a little leeway for the few miles I drive to the van-pool pick-up site, I figure that I've saved my monthly cost to take the van after the first five days I ride the van. The rest of the month is profit.

I'm also pleased to think that when eight or ten of us ride together it means 7 or nine fewer tailpipes adding to our air quality problem.

And I can read, or listen to music, or doze, or chat with my fellow passengers,

There is some irony, though. As a result of a reduction in the percentage of my driving time in the Scion that is highway driving, I'm seeing a slight drop in fuel mileage.

1 comment:

Kamile Ko said...

I still believe that there is no better example than my city, it managed to reduce air pollution twice in few years, look through the data- Kur Gyvenu and I believe that we managed to reach it only working together. Every city may follow us, and may care about environment as we care!

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