Friday, April 01, 2011

Saving fuel and money by cycling

So, fuel for the car costs 0,1€ = 10 cents per kilometer. How much do I save if I go shopping by bike instead of car? Lets compare the  roundtrip distances to some of the shops I have gone to by car and by bike:

shoptrip by cartrip by bike
supermarket7,0km 4,0km
cheapomart west5,6km 3,8km
cheapomart norteast6,4km 5,4km
supermarkets downtown9,0km 8,8km
market square7,2km 6,4m
rotuaari7,4km 7,4km

The trips are distances to the parking lot, or in the case of bike, to the front door where the bike parking is. Rotuaari, the pedestrian shopping street has obviously no parking, so one will have to park somewhere else and walk to the destination. There's been some plans that cycling on the pedestrian steet would be banned, but it's not happened yet.

One can quickly see that it's most profitable to go to the first supermarket by bike, as the trip is almost half compared to the car. For that trip, the bikeways are more direct and the car has to stop at several traffic lights. Fuel cost by car is at least 70c, divided by 4km on bicycle means I save 17,5c per kilometer every time I go shopping there.

The downtown supermarkets, the market square and Rotuaari are south of the river. There's only a limited number of bridges which limits the route options. Also the downtown area has streets on a grid, so the bike routes are on the grid too. No short cuts for bikes there. The difference between car and bike is lost. So the savings will drop to 10c per kilometer plus parking.

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