So, I convinced myself that bike would be a better option.
Well, my bike has been the primary mode of transport to office for 3 months now. Rarely have I had a pillion rider (I wish Seetha had come). And then one fine day I thought, "Is bike really more fuel efficient than my bus?".
After a short chit-chat with my office's admin head, I came to know that my company bus gives a mileage of 3.5 Km/ltr and around 25 take the same route as I, were I taking it. By my calculations, my bike gives 65 Km/ltr; if you try to average the number of people travelling on my bike, it would come to 1.0002 or something, so no. of travellers = 1. Today, during lunch, over a blunt conversation for no purpose, this was discussed. And I thought of this *new* unit to measure fuel efficiency: Km-people/ltr; for sake of convenience, lets call it Commutage.
With the above given information, the Commutage for me going to office, would be (65 Km/ltr)*(1 person) = 65 km-people/ltr.
The same for the bus would be, (3.5 Km/ltr)*(25 people) = 87.5 Km-people/ltr.
No prizes for guessing which is better. However, if I can get someone to ride with me to office everyday we get a Commutage that beats the bus! (130 Km-people/ltr to be precise). If everyone were to use bikes (like mine), there would be a lot of fuel saved and space. Buses, especially private ones, take a lot of space on the outside, but aren't exactly full. No. I don't recommend triples or quadruples or more on a bike, they are bound to reduce your mileage and worsens your engine's condition which further reduces mileage, which cannot be compensated in your Commutage!
Now lets take a look at cars. Assume a mileage of 15 Km/ltr. Usually a car can accommodate 4-5 people that gives a Commutage of 60-70. Take a 10 away for AC, 50-60 Km-people/ltr. It is a lot less than even a scarcely crowded bus and I've been too conservative. It can be excused for the sake of comfort. Yet, we can do better than a single person driving it.
Next, Auto rickshaws. Lets put its mileage at 20-25 Km/ltr. The average number of people travelling is 2. You do the math. The case of an Auto, brings us to an interesting point. We may now need to slightly modify our unit of measure. The driver should not be considered in the number of travellers unless he's returning home or taking his family for ride! Similar is the case for call taxis, fathers dropping kids etc. So Commutage should be (Mileage)*(No. of people travelling on purpose). In case of pick-ups and drops, the driver if returning alone has no other work on the way, gives ZERO Commutage!
Finally, MTC!! Well, we don't need to do any math for this. Truly unbeatable stats! Try it out yourself! And in the crowd of a hundred (OK. In most cases atleast), the conductor and driver do not make much of a difference :-)
- This should be considered only for (public) road transport. Don't wonder how less a Commutage aeroplanes or fighter planes will give :-P
- The availability of petrol and diesel maybe different and also their performance.
- Commutage should not be the only criterion. Think about comfort, safety, urgency, availability etc. But all within acceptable limits.
- We need more scales. Any takers?
- The non-consideration towards drivers, parents and friends should not be taken personally, but only for the sake of calculation.
When I started this post, the price of oil was nearly $124 a barrel. Today water, which is a renewable resource, is also scarce. Oil isn't a renewable resource and we don't have much left in the crust either.
I hope this blog will make people do their bit for the Earth. I do.
Update: I take