Public transport savings

Australian commuters could potentially save thousands of dollars per year by using public transport

A national review of commuter costs has found Australians could save an average of nearly $10,000 per year by using public transport.

‘The costs of commuting: an analysis of potential commuter savings’ report was prepared by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA).

The report identifies the annual cost to commute by car and then uses two scenarios to quantify the potential savings a public transport commuter could make by not driving a private vehicle.

The scenarios estimate potential savings for those who use public transport and do not own a car or have not purchased a second household car and those who own a car but opt to leave it at home.

The review of annual commuter costs found Australians could save an average of $9,973 every year simply by travelling to work with public transport instead of owning and driving a car or purchasing a second household car.

ARA chief executive officer Bryan Nye says the start of a new year brings new resolutions with many Australians looking for ways to save money and change old habits.

"This report highlights just how costly it can be to drive your car to work five days a week and in doing so provides a practical solution for many Aussies looking to kick off 2015 saving their hard earned money," he says.

"A lot of people are unaware of the significant savings that can be made by selling their car or simply not purchasing a second household car and switching to public transport."

A driver of a larger vehicle, like a Holden Commodore, could save more than $12,600 annually while the driver of a smaller vehicle, like a Mazda 2, could save about $6,400.

"Even commuters who choose to own a car but leave it at home and take public transport can still save," says Nye.

Conservative calculations have been used to identify the car commuter costs. Non-compulsory car insurance has not been costed while only $1,000 for a whole year of parking has been included.

"The potential savings are obviously dependent on individual circumstances but when you consider that Australian CBD parking costs can range from $180 to $750 a month or $2,160 to $9,000 per year, the savings that can be made by jumping on a train or bus are significant," says Nye.

 "An added benefit of commuting by public transport is the productive use of time that public transport offers, allowing commuters to spend time on their laptop, mobile, iPod and so on whilst in transit."

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook