Mar 15, 2010

Enjoy Your Commute and Save Money - Ride a Bike!

Many know that Calgary has some of the most expensive parking rates in North America - with the average centre city monthly parking costing $400 per month.

Here are some prices I found with a quick search this morning -
- Impark $325-480 per month
- Calgary Parking Authority - $400-480 per month
- Calgary Transit Lots - $150 per month (incl. parking and transit pass)

So, without getting into how much your car costs per month to operate (insurance, gas, monthly payment, etc) it is pretty obvious that driving your car to work everyday is a very expensive way to commute.  Even if you can park for free at your place of work, you still need to incur all the normal operating costs associated with car ownership - which are begged at close to $10,000/year in Canada.

There is another option - ride your bike.

Alright, OK - I have heard all the reasons why riding a bike to work doesn't work for you (yes, you, especially you!).  There are a myriad of excuses people put up to make it seem like riding a bike to work is not possible for them - but it is possible for many, many people - you just have to consider your options.

- Calgary has a handful of Park-n-Bike lots that are free to park in, offer quick easy access to the core, and are situated along our incredible pathway network.  If you live in the suburbs, you can drive to one of these lots, park, hop on your bike, and pedal into work.   While you are at it, cancel your gym membership because you won't need it anymore.

- Calgary has one of the biggest pathway networks in North America and there are many places you can park near the pathway and off you go.

- Calgary's streets are primarily a grid network, meaning you can often find alternate routes to where you need to go away from busy arterial roadways. 

So, maybe your biggest issue is that you do not have a bicycle to ride.  Buy one.  Buy a good one.  Park your car at home during the spring and summer and put those 4 months of saved parking fees directly into a new bike.  You would end up with a great bike, fully outfitted for commuting in your regular clothes - with the added benefit of being able to go grocery shopping with it or simply riding for fun on the weekends - and you will get fitter and happier!

What can possibly be wrong with that?

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