Transport Report: February 2011     << Previous monthNext month >>

Every day this year, I've recorded how far I travel, and by what mode, in a nifty Google Doc. In February, 2011, I traveled a total of 3399 miles. Of these, 3116 were for transportation, and 283 were for exercise or recreation. Of the transportation miles, 3023 were mechanized; 94 were person-powered. I burned an estimated 60.25 gallons of fossil fuels (or the equivalent to power electrically-powered vehicles), averaging 49.95 person-miles per gallon.

States visited: Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Wisconsin. States visited in transit: Vermont.

Transit systems/providers used: MBTA (bus & rail), Concord Coach, Massport (Logan Airport), Metrotransit (light rail), MAC (MSP airport tram), 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.


  • 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)
  • A lot more bus travel this month. Thanks to AC power and the internet, bus travel is not as horrible as it used to be. Still, legroom of an airplane, speed of a bus.
  • PMPG this month was within 0.03 of last month. Despite some different mode share, my fuel consumption was very similar.
  • 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.

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© 2011, Ari Ofsevit