Challenge: C-Max vs. Public Transportation

The Rundown

It’s that time again (even though it’s actually the first time ever): time for a Ford Experiment Challenge. This will be a segment of the blog that will highlight Henry Day’s lineup of Ford cars against just about anything alive and inanimate alike. There might even be a few abstract ones.

To get started, today’s question is this:

Which is cheaper? C-Max, or public transportation?

For this challenge, I will compare the cost of driving a C-Max on my morning commute (from Provo, UT to Salt Lake City, roughly 51 miles) to the cost to travel the same distance using public transportation. While this commute is likely longer than most, that will actually make driving the car more expensive and thus favor public transportation. For the challenge, the current Utah gas price of $2.82 will be used.

Public Transportation

January has 22 working days. A monthly bus pass, including FrontRunner (long-distance train) and local buses and trains costs $189. Daily passes are $5.25 each way, adding up to $231 for the month. The monthly pass is definitely cheaper.

Therefore, using FrontRunner and Trax for my commute would cost a total of $189 for the month of January.

The C-Max

The C-Max is estimated to get 47 MPG. However, since that’s the maximum, you’re more likely to average a little bit less since we’re not always driving perfectly. So, for this challenge, we’ll go with 40. The trip from my front door to my office is 36.8 miles, so we’ll go with 37.  That means, in the C-Max, I can get to my office on less than a gallon of gas! The total gas cost, to be exact, would be $2.41, less than half of what I would pay for a single ticket on public transit.

Driving both ways, 22 days out of the year, my gas expense would only be $105.82. That’s $83 less than taking public transportation, not to mention the added comfort (I can testify from experience that the C-Max is most definitely comfortable) and saved time.

In Summary

While public transit is awesome and a great option, the C-Max wins in terms of cost efficiency, comfort, and time savings. At 47 MPG, you almost can’t afford not to do it.

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