Thanks to Elly Blue and her recent Grist blog, “How bicycling will save the economy (if we let it)” for pointing out some eye-opening statistics.
The average American spends $8485 on car ownership (per car) each year, and a whopping 84% of that flies out of the local economy. Only $1,390 stays local.
Imagine what your life would be like if you had an additional $7,095 to spend locally each year.
While your lifestyle may not support completely eliminating your car, there may be ways you can access some of this bonus by reducing your car use. According to the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, 25 percent of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40 percent of all trips are within two miles of the home, and 50 percent of the working population commutes five miles or less to work. Yet more than 82 percent of trips five miles or less are made by personal motor vehicle. (source: League of American Bicyclists) Can you shift more of your errands to the bicycle? To public transportation?
If you can reduce the amount you spend on your car by keeping it parked more often, the bonus will flow to your bottom line. You’ll extend your vehicle’s life, reduce your environmental footprint, and most likely contribute to the overall economic health of your community.
What is your strategy for eliminating car trips?