The city of Durango’s transit service saves my family over $7,000 per year. How? Thanks to this service, we only need one car. Most people forget that the cost of owning and operating a car averages about $0.53 per mile, according to the IRS, and that the average American drives about 13,500 miles per year. While these figures are based on national averages, I can attest from our own family budgeting they’re pretty darn close.
If cars were sold as a $7,000 per year “transportation service,” I wonder how many people would buy them? All of a sudden, $360 for an annual bus pass seems like a screaming deal! But I need my second car, I hear you say. Do you? Maybe some do. But a single-car family could buy two bus passes, and rent a second car from Enterprise, say, five times days per month, and they’d still come out about $4,000 ahead, every year.
The recent vote to increase property taxes for fire protection shows that Durangoans understand the value of paying for community services through taxes. By 2023, Durango Transit will be facing a $500,000 budget shortfall due to changing CDOT funding rules. We would each need to fork over an additional $30 per year to make up the difference – if we wanted to.
And while many may feel that they’re being nickle-and-dimed to death by paying for community services, I wonder if they’ve ever considered how much these services could actually save them money?