Transport Report: January 2011     Next month >> Every day this year, I've recorded how far I travel, and by what mode, in a nifty Google Doc. In January, 2011, I traveled a total of 2376 miles. Of these, 2085 were for transportation, and 291 were for exercise or recreation. Of the transportation miles, 1985 were mechanized; 120 were person-powered. I burned an estimated 39.31 gallons of fossil fuels (or the equivalent to power electrically-powered vehicles), averaging 49.98 person-miles per gallon. States visited: Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont. States visited in transit: Michigan. Transportatiom systems/providers used: CTA, MBTA, Delta Airlines Here's the data, broken out in to charts: Miles per day by mode. Log scale, base 2 (to get more lines). NB that all data starts at one; there is no way to display zero values in a log scale, so 1 null mile is added to each day to display the graph correctly. Notes: Yes, ski miles. Many days I ski about 1 mile each way between the MBTA's Riverside Station and the Weston Ski Track. Or, when there's enough snow, I ski to the grocery store in Cambridge. Person miles per gallon estimated as follows; these are very much estimates with information from Wikipedia's fuel efficiency in transportation article: Single-occupancy vehicle = 40 pmpg (generally a 1998 Corolla or a Prius) Pool = 75 pmpg (30 mpg, average 2.5 people) Taxi = 50 pmpg (20 mpg, average 2.5 people) Bus = 160 pmpg (4 mpg, average 40 people) Rail = 500 pmpg (For light rail: 20 mpg, average 25 people; this is actually low since a light rail vehicle really does use the same amount of energy as an SUV, at peak load it can average 2000-4000 pmpg!) Airplane = 40 mpg (0.25 mpg, 160 passengers; this varies by plane type, distance and load) Notice how air travel and car travel, especially in single-occupancy vehicles, use the most fuel while public transit use is almost negligible. No, I'm not going to calculate the extra calories burned biking or walking and how much fuel was used to raise those calories. Although it would be a number (energy can't just disappear, Al Einstein said so) it'd be a pretty small number. Next month >> © 2011, Ari Ofsevit