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Figuring Commuting Costs

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by volvo_nut, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. volvo_nut

    volvo_nut Member

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    While reading the Toll Road thread I started putting numbers together.

    Greenway - $5.00 (2.50 each way)
    Toll road - $1.00 (.50 each way)
    ---------
    $6.00 - Tolls each day.
    $10.00 - Parking/day (can you park in D.C. for $10/day ?)
    $4.00 - fuel - $2.00/gal and you use 2 gal on your commute
    ---------
    $20.00/day to commute from Loudoun to points east
    --------
    $400/month with Greenway & parking
    ========


    Using just the Toll Road:
    0.70 - (.35 - 28 Toll booth)
    1.00 - Toll Plaza
    4.00 - fuel
    ---------
    $114/month ($5.70 per day)
    ========

    Not having parking and Greenway fees saves a nice chunk! What is our time worth sitting on Waxpool ?

    How long does it take to commute across Route 7? It sure would be nice to have some sort of by-pass that had no stoplights or tolls and allowed commuters to drive from the Ashburn/Leesburg area to the beltway or D.C.
  2. section84

    section84 New Member

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    You counted parking in the Greenway scenario, but you didn't add that in to the toll road scenario. If you add in the parking (at the $10 per day you estimated) then you have $15.70 per day or $$314 per month. That's an $86 per month difference. To me, that makes the decision more difficult.

  3. volvo_nut

    volvo_nut Member

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    I added it to the Greenway scenario as a 'worse case' and the Toll Road as a 'best case' for someone like me who does not have to pay for parking.

    What do you think is the tipping point for justifying not using the Greenway?

    Are 5am wake-up calls or 10am arrival times realistic for most?
  4. Wick

    Wick New Member

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    You're comparing apples to oranges if you leave parking out of the "Toll Road" scenario. My decision to use the Greedway has no bearing on whether I pay for parking. Either leave parking costs in both scenarios or out of both scenarios. That said, whether it's in or out of each scenario, it's still just $86/month. I agree with section84, the decision becomes more difficult for only $4.30/day (assuming 20 working days per month).

    Also, one very minor point: If you use Waxpool, I believe that you end up traveling more miles and thus increasing fuel costs. Doing some quick calcs on mapquest (from my house), it looks like two miles/day, which is 10 miles/week and 40 miles/month. 40 miles/month is probably two tanks of gas -- if you're lucky. You always burn more gas in stop-and-go traffic (such as on Waxpool) versus at highway speeds on the Greedway. Thus, the difference ends being about $82/month and less time commuting.

    For me personally, $82/month is worth more time with my family and to myself.
  5. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    they are counting on people like you wick... but the fact is is that we should not have to pay such a surcharge just to drive to work... Hopefully once of these days they (Greenway) will go bankrupt and vdot will take over and lower the toll costs and pro-rate.
  6. section84

    section84 New Member

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    Well, for me, $86 per month (parking included or not) is not enough to avoid the Greenway. I can save that much by bringing my lunch to work. Not to mention the gas savings by spending far less time in stop-and-go traffic. I typically leave at 7:00, and I make it to Tyson's Corner (just off the toll road) by 7:30. My co-worker takes Ashburn Farm Blvd/Waxpool from Ashburn Farm leaving at 6:45, and he gets to work at 7:30. I figure the Greenway saves me 15 minutes of idling each way. That's a lot of gas and wear-and-tear.


  7. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    Here are some more numbers I came up with. They are for the roundtrip and a 260 workday year. Let me know if you think they need to be tweeked.

    Scenario - leaving/returning at 8:30am/5:30pm
    Broadlands/Dulles Tollroad via Greenway vs. Broadlands/Dulles Tollroad via Waxpool/28
    Cost per day $5.30 vs. $0.70
    Miles per day 16 vs. 20
    Minutes per day 20 vs. 40
    Cost per year $1,378.00 vs. $182.00
    Miles per year 4160 vs. 5200
    Gallons of gas used per year (assuming 30 MPG/25 MPG) 138.67 vs. 208.00
    Minutes per year 5200 vs. 10400

    Total cost for gas per year (assuming 2.00/per gallon) $277.33 vs. $416.00
    Total cost per year (tolls + gas) $1,655.33 vs. $598.00
    Total time cost per year (hours) 86.67 vs. 173.33

    Money saved per year not using Greenway $1,057.33
    Time saved per year using Greenway (hours) 86.67

    Cost per hour to not sit in 28/Waxpool traffic $12.20
    Daily cost to not sit in 28/Waxpool traffic (assuming 20 min. Greenway trip) $4.07


    Another interesting scenario, is assume that you and a co-worker leave Broadlands at the same time to go to work. He takes 28/Waxpool and you take the Greenway. You get to work 10 minutes before him which also means you get to *leave* 10 minutes before him. Because you get to leave work early, you would get home a full *30 minutes* before him, even though you left at the same time during the morning! This time savings is ignored if you only focus on how much time is saved in traffic.
  8. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Better scenario ... you and the co-worker carpool, thus sharing the costs of the greenway/tollroad/parking. You both make out better, and there's one less car on the road :D

    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  9. dcdavis

    dcdavis Ooops!!

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    volvo-nut:

    Your original post said, "It sure would be nice to have some sort of by-pass that had no stoplights or tolls and allowed commuters to drive from the Ashburn/Leesburg area to the beltway or D.C."

    First off, there's no room between Rt. 7 and the Toll Road to put another 6/8 land highway, and you can't go South b/c of IAD. More importantly, there's no way you could ever get this built, due to monetary reasons: a) VDOT sends all our money down to the South/Southwest part of the Commonwealth; b) any money staying up here will go toward Metro; and c) any private entity who would build this road would have to charge a toll to recover his costs.

    Second- and this is the crux of my post- eventually Gloucester Parkway will extend from Ashburn Village to Route 28 (at Nokes Blvd- where the mall is). It seems that when/if this is built, it would help divert a lot of the traffic from North Ashburn off of Waxpool, thus opening it up a bit more for those of us here in South Ashburn. Thoughts??

    Finally- Loudoun County Parkway is finally being completed near Redskins Park (where it is currently a dirt road), and Claiborne Parkway is being completed from Route 7 all the way to the Greenway. Although this will help a lot of people in North Ashburn, I fear it may exacerbate the traffic problems on Waxpool, as it will be much easier for Lansdowne/Belmont/Univ. Center people to reach Waxpool. It will be interesting to watch how these new North-South connector roads affect the East-West commuter routes...

    DcD

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  10. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    I never understood the 'drive' for distance rates on the toll road. It would be absurd to assume that the current toll would be the 'full length' toll and your partial trip would have to be less then the current toll. While it should be less.. one would have to raise the tolls to balence the loss of revenue... so our 'partial' toll may be not much less then it is now.

    But on the topic of this thread.. a few easy cost cutting things overlooked

    1) Don't pay full tolls.. get speedpass
    2) Carpool
    3) Take the greenway to work.. take rt28 home
    4) Also note.. looks like greenway will start implementing early-bird rates (sign past the tollbooth)

    The estimates on the waxpool route also seem optimistic to me. I don't think I've ever gotten to Rt28 alone in under 20 minutes going along waxpool.. where on a decent day on the greenway I can get all the way to Reston in that time.



    -Steve
  11. jtarnow

    jtarnow New Member

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    Actually, the Greenway has had early bird rates for some time. Since at least September, peak tolls have been assessed between 6-9 AM and 4-7 PM. Before 6 AM is therefore "early bird", although you get the same discount for paying after 9 AM. If you have a flexible morning schedule and/or never get home before 7 PM anyway, keep these times in mind!
  12. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    dcdavis-
    You are absolutely correct on your points. As you also know, Gloucester won't be completed to Rte 28 until someone comes in and develops the property and the county can require them to build the road. Unfortunately, this could be many years away.
    Also, you can expect Waxpool to truly become a nightmare when Loudoun County Parkway is completed to Rte 7. The wait time at Waxpool/LCP will be greatly increased with the new north-south flow of traffic on LCP crossing Waxpool.
    As I've posted on other road forums, these "improvements" to the road system, including the Waxpool/Rte 28 interchange, are only going to make the traffic in and out of Ashburn worse.
  13. BelindaTH

    BelindaTH Member

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    Any plans in the works to extend an existing road directly to Route 606 from Broadlands/Ashburn? Or is there one that exists that doesn't involve Waxpool?
  14. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    BelindaTH-
    That would makw way too much sense and relieve too much traffic to ever happen!
    I seem to remember this was discussed as part of the initial approval requirements before the UUnet (MCI) campus was built. They were supposed to build a road through their campus to hook up to 606. They didn't want to do it, but proposed making improvements to Shellhorn Road instead. I don't know what the final outcome was.
  15. mdr227

    mdr227 Member

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    We have two drivers going to DC/MD in my family and both pay for parking. I figure we could have a couple extra cars for the price that we pay just to commute to and from work. To me it is worth the extra $5 per day to save half an hour of time to have at home with my family. If the family is with me going to church in Herndon or elsewhere along that route we always try to leave early enough to be able to take alternate routes, but sometimes time just won't allow it.

    Yes, the connection from LCP to 606 would be great for everyone (allow people a more direct parallel route to the Greenway and relieve traffic from Waxpool/28), but like someone said that would actually make sense so why would anyone bother to construct it?
  16. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    I'm always looking for new members at my church ... have you tried any locally ??



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  17. Skins fan

    Skins fan Tequila fan (100% agave)

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    Agree with you except for Claiborne making it easier
    to get to Waxpool. Ashburn Rd. connects now with only
    1 traffic light between 7 and Waxpool. I realize it is
    only 2 lanes but traffic does move fairly well.

    The real problem is the fact that our tax dollars don't
    come back here for transportation AND the privatization
    of road building is a terrible (conservative) idea.
    Imagine if all our major highways were privately built
    and had tolls. What a joke.

    Why should we pay a user fee for a necessary highway
    here when our tax dollars go to pay for rural roads in
    southern VA? Our reps need to make sure we get our fair
    share of the transportation $$ back. Too bad they spend
    most of their time trying to pass anti gay legislation
    instead of focusing on the real problems that affect us.

    skins fan

  18. dcdavis

    dcdavis Ooops!!

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    skins fan-

    I agree that there doesn't seem to be enough focus on the traffic problems. However, we can't forget that our delegation in the House of Delegates is only like 5 members (and then I'm sure 10-15 more from the rest of NoVA). But- compare that to the rest of the members in the 100 (?) member House of Delegates, and we have no leverage at all.
  19. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    FWIW ... it looks like they finally paved the new bridge built between Loudoun Cty Pkwy and Pacific. They were striping it today.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  20. WesGurney

    WesGurney New Member

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    I'm very curious to see if this fixes a majority of the traffic woes in that area. It seems having 3 lanes in each direction should eliminate most of the backups that we currently see here.

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