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In yesterday’s post we discussed the recent Turnpike and Parkway toll increases and how that was hitting the wallets of New Jersey drivers, and wondered if anybody might change their driving behavior as a result. Beyond changing routes to avoid the toll roads, an option for some would simply be to use their cars less frequently, or not at all. While this isn’t always an option for many New Jerseyans, it probably is for some. And if you can do it, the cost savings can be significant.

And with a cool online tool, The True Cost of Driving’s calculator, you can find out exactly how much you’ll save. For example, if we could give up one of our two cars in my household, we could save about $7,000 per year (and that’s even counting the fact that we don’t usually use toll roads, and all of our residential and work parking is free). That’s a ton of money, and we drive less than most people to begin with.

The calculator factors in direct costs, such as registration, insurance, gas, maintenance and time in traffic as well as indirect costs, such as accidents, noise, pollution, and road repair. The calculator doesn’t even factor in heath care savings, since riding a bike is much healthier for a person than sitting in a car.

On the Move readers, is giving up one of your cars an option for you? Would you consider it if it was? We want to hear from you. And if you want to consider the many alternatives to driving alone and try carpooling, vanpooling, walking, bicycling, taking transit, or telecommuting, GMTMA can help you get started. Visit our website for assistance and information on all of these commuting alternatives, and much much more.

Route 1 is fun.

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