Ever wondered how much it costs to catch the bus to and from work, and how long it takes? and then wondered how long would it take to do the same trip by bicycle but were too lazy to do the hard work to find out?

Well here are the results and it's all neatly tabled into a cartoon.


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Cool Cartoon.

I worked out my Public Transport / Bicycle time comparison to be
Public Transport - Bus, Train, Bus, 1/2 hr walk (2 1/4hrs) to arrive at work 54 minutes early (leave home over 3 hrs before i need to be at work)
Bicycle - 45 minutes arrive at work 10 minutes early (leave home an hour before i need to be at work)

NO COMPARISON. I didn't bother even trying to compare getting home.
Living in Glebe and working in the CBD, I can *walk* to work faster than catching the bus (via Pyrmont bridge vs bus down Broadway), if I include the average time waiting for the bus. So the bus vs bike question is a no-brainer for me.

However I once made the effort to do a fair comparison by conducting a 'race' with a bus into the city. I let the bus go first at my normal stop on Glebe Point Road, and passed it at the next stop. It caught me at one red light, but thereafter I stayed ahead of it all the way to the King/George Street intersection. Of course, the difference is that the bus has to stop to pick up and set down passengers. Note that I stopped for every red light - as the bus was obliged to do. This was 3 or 4 years ago, things have probably not changed much.
I'm buying my first bike tomorrow. We will see how beneficial it will be for me. I don't like public transport, so I always try to walk from home, which is in Glebe, to work, which is also in CBD. It doesn't make me fast, but adds something healthy points to my highly unhealthy sitting-in-the-office-in-front-of-computer way of living.
Great stuff. Thanks for posting it Susan. I once had the surpising experience of waving a friend off at Central, only to meet up with him again at Stanmore as I rode past. He had just walked out of the station and said he hadn't waited long for a train. I'm not a fast rider so perhaps it was a warp in the fabric of time. On that highly scientific basis I am now rarely tempted to catch the train.
My daily trip from Marsfield to my office at Circular Quay usually leaves me coming out in front. The bus stop at home is right at my front door, but in the city there is a 10 minute walk from Wynyard which is where you get dropped in the morning.
I am doing the morning trip with a ride time of about 51 minutes for a distance of 21.6km (elapsed time is up to 60 minutes, all due to red lights or bike crossings).
On the way home, the bus does not stand a chance. To catch the bus home you need to get to the QVB, which is a 15 minute walk from the quay. You then have to wait for the bus, which sometimes adds another 20 minutes. So, before I would have even boarded the bus on the way home, on my bike I would be at Lane Cove already!
A couple of times last week I took note of the bus number out the front of my house (I left at the same time as the bus). I beat the bus to Delhi Rd/Epping Rd, where it caught up with me at the lights. Believe it or not, but I still beat the bus from Delhi Rd to the Lane Cove Interchange, but it then passed me on the Gore Hill Fwy. However, the bus usually gets struck in traffic coming off the bridge and onto York St, so I easily catch up. As I don't have to ride my bike to Wynyard, unless the bus has a very good run I will nearly always beat it.

In terms of savings, a Travel 10 is $40 for a weeks worth of trips, or $4.50 for a single trip. If I rode by bike every day, I would clock up almost 11,000km in a year. I have lost 13kg since I started riding last August.

So, by all accounts, the Bike wins Hands Down!
This paradigm obviously works well when you're close to the city, but surprisingly, it even works for me out at Parramatta (which is served pretty well by public transport).

My options are:
1/ cycle
2/ bus (L20 express) down victoria Rd
3/ train to city, bus to work (Balmain).

1/ 55min
2/ 15min walk + 1hr bus + 15min walk = total 1.5hr
3/ 15min walk + 40min train + 10min bus + ~10min wait = 1.25hr

Bike wins, even though I'm 20+km from work!

I don't count showers, as I'd be having one at home prior to leaving for the PT options, whereas I have a shower at work when on the bike.
I'm essentially one end of the M2 to the other with an extra km or so at the western end. Trip is about 5 minutes faster by car inbound (outbound is slower by bike these days) and I've never bothered trying the bus.

I'm probably quite a bit slower than most of the M2 cyclists but who cares. I guess I'm saving around $15 a day in petrol and tolls when I ride - plus the fitness boost which I reeaaally need.

$2000 saving pa. in after tax dollars makes sense to me.
In less than couple of years , you'd be able to buy yourself a carbon fibre bike with the money that you saved.
That would improve your times as well.
Hmm! You've seen my bike haven't you.

Nothing like old style chrome-molly steel MTB. It just won't die.
On a light weight roadie, you would save yourself about 10mins.

I keep a spreadsheet with the amount I'm saving on riding ($9 a day)
and the amount I spend (pedals, lights etc).

I've saved $850 so far.
Although I'm still about $450 in debt from all the expences
On a light weight roadie, you would save yourself about 10mins.

Yeah but most of that is the more aero position and the better rolling resistance of the tyres. Differences in weights of the bikes makes little difference, but the durability of steel is worth the extra weight if commuting in my opinion. Try the calculator below to see what little difference bike weight makes.
quite incredible that a "freeway" is only slightly faster than a bicycle.

Just goes to show you how clogged up the cities arteries are.


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