Biking: The Budget Friendly Transportation Alternative
If you don’t own a bike already, it might be time to think about making the investment, or at least using your local bike-share service. Not only is it a cheap mode of transportation that can help you stay in budget, but it is also good for you! Check out more reasons below you should consider biking as an alternate mode of transportation.
As previously mentioned, biking can help you stay within your budget. How much money can you save exactly? Americans spend an upwards of $2,000 just on gas alone every year! This doesn’t include car payments or the unexpected maintenance costs that can occur. On the other hand, owning a bike can cost anywhere from $250 to $1,500 depending on how much you want to spend. Yearly maintenance is around $50. Even with all the bells and whistles (lights, a lock, baskets), you can save up to $9,000 each year, just by using a bike as cheap transportation instead of a car.
If owning a bike doesn’t fit into your budget just yet, a lot of cities offer bike share services. This means they allow you to use this cheap form of transportation temporarily. There are stations located at different points in the city so you can rent the bike from anywhere and return it to a completely different location. They charge based on the amount of time used, or you can splurge and get an unlimited yearly membership for the bike share service. The cost at each city varies but bike sharing is affordable everywhere.
Whether you own the bike or use a bike sharing service, the health benefits are the same. Biking just 20 miles a week can decrease your risk of heart disease by 50%! Though it may sound like a lot, 20 miles can be biked in a little over 2 hours. If you are taking this cheap transportation to and from work, you will hit that in no time. In addition to decreasing your risk of heart disease, being moderately active also boosts your immune system, so you will get sick less often. Regular exercise also extends your life. Who doesn’t want to live a few extra years?
Not only can you improve your health, but you can also help improve the earth by biking. A large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions come from car travel. This percentage can easily be reduced if more people chose to bike to work instead. Not only does gas pollute the air, but 70 to 100 bikes could be created with all of the resources it takes to make just one car.
Especially if you live in a city environment, parking a car can be a pain. You can drive around forever trying to find a spot and it is normally far from where you actually want to be. If you ride a bike, the places to lock it up are endless and generally free! You can find a fence, lamppost, bench, or even a designated bike parking area. For this reason, make room in your budget for a good bike lock. If you use a bike share service, it’s as easy as finding the station and rolling it into the port.