Priest in the Church of England. Trustee SPCK. Father, husband, son. "Small acts of Good change the world."

I can’t afford to be green.

I’ve given public transport a real go, and it’s all perfectly acceptable. I sit on a clean train that takes just over 35 minutes to get me from darkest Buckinghamshire to deepest London – well Marylebone – and another 30 minutes on the bus over to Old Street.

I take a taxi home in the evening  – that’s £7 a day, or rather, the same amount it would cost me to get the bus (after a 1 mile walk to/from the stop) there and back… yes I know… evil…. cars.

But here’s the thing, I can’t make the numbers work. I like to think I’m doing my bit for the environment but how can I afford it? It’s a privilege for the rich. Work with me on these numbers.

Public Transport Costs

  • Weekly Train Pass: £73
  • Weekly cab/buss ticket: £35
  • Weekly Oyster Ticket: £20

Total: £128

Motorcycle Costs

  • Weekly petrol: (50 litres per week @ 10 miles / litre) £57
  • Weekly insurance: (based on 12 months / 52 – fully comp most expensive quote) £9.61
  • Weekly tax: £0.92
  • Weekly servicing: (2 major services per year @ £300 each / 52) £11.53

Total: £79.06

I can bring down the public transport train pass price by about £7 per week if I buy a monthly pass – but then I don’t save if I don’t go in (unlike the bike) so I’m trying to compare like for like – and £7 per week just doesn’t cut it with these figures.

Foot deepSo that’s it folks. Public Transport it just too expensive for me to be able to afford it. I’m going to have to jump on the bike – and these figures are hardly cheap – two full major services, top notch most expensive insurance and worst case millage figures at an estimated 10 miles more per day than google maps suggests. I suspect in real life it’ll be even less.

I don’t mind the cold and the wet – I’ve commuted into London for years on the bike – I’m just disappointed that our public transport system is so expensive as to be out-of-reach. I’m sure the solution to this is to continue to stack tax on petrol until it’s so expensive as to make public transport seem cheap.

1 Comment

  1. Patrick

    I have to agree with you and with the nicer weather around the corner you’d be mad to keep paying out on those fares. It’s shocking when you break the figures down and I bet most people don’t and simply pay for the monthly / annual pass especially if their employer offers interest free loans for it. Shame they don’t do the same for PTW’s…