One of the main reasons why people bike to work is the money that they save. While personally, it is not my main reason why I ride my bike going to the office, more money is always welcomed of course. So now, let us go through how much I actually save because I ride my bike.
I live in Marikina City and work in Makati. The easiest way for me to get to work is to take a UV Express in the morning and taking the same route going home in the evening. The cost of a one-way ride is 55PHP. So that’s 110PHP a day. On top of that, I need to take the tricycle in the morning since the station is far from my home, that’s 30PHP. Going back home the UV Express shuttle, fortunately, passes close to my house.
So all in all, that’s 140PHP per day. At 5 working days a week, that translates to 700PHP per week. At 4 weeks per month, that’s 2,800PHP a month. And of course, that’s 33,600PHP in a year.
A year of biking to work and you could buy a brand new refrigerator. Or maybe take a trip to Hong Kong. For other bike enthusiasts out there, that’s a new Brompton folding bike.
But it doesn’t end there.
Of course, that computation is considering that I just clock in and out of the office. What if there are different conditions? For example, the rainy season tends to result in heavier traffic and less UV Express. I am forced to take an alternative. Or for days that I don’t wake up early, I’ll have to find another way to get to work which is usually Grab (Uber back then as well). This is a huge cost.
For days when I have late-night training or meeting in the office, then I won’t be able to get a UV Express anymore. If there’s a dinner after office with some of my friends, the same thing! These extra and unexpected transportation costs can swell up over the course of a year to an average of 10,000PHP as per my experience.
When I have my bike, I do not have to worry about what time I can get out of the office or if there’s still a UV Express available. As long as my lights are charged, then no problem. Even through the rain, I can manage to get to and from the office easily.
Cost of Biking to Work
Of course, it doesn’t mean that biking to work is completely free. Heavens no. It also comes with a price tag, only it’s not as regular as paying your fare every day. One of these costs is maintenance.
Bikes are machines, powered by the human body. What this means is that it also experiences regular wear and tear. The wheels get thinner, the chain needs cleaning, the gears need tuning and many more.
Different parts need different types of maintenance. While some tasks should be done every few months, there are things that should be done on at least a weekly basis. Again, it all depends on your bike, your parts, and how you use the bike.
Then of course there are unexpected costs as well such as getting a flat tire. While I carry around a spare inner tube and patch kit, I still prefer getting the flat fixed in a vulcanizing shop. Patch kits are usually temporary measures and might just break again after a few days so I get it professionally fixed so to speak.
And lastly, any cyclist, biker, and bike to worker know about this, there is an illness that affects anyone who sits on the saddle. A sickness that can be difficult to work with. Sometimes, it can never be cured. It’s called, Ugradetitis.
This is the feeling of always wanting to buy something new to upgrade your bike. Wheelset, gears, or simply new bike lights. This is a feeling that goes away for a time when you buy something but it just keeps coming back. Be ready for this!
So there you have it. Because of biking to work, I save about 33,600PHP a year. Minus the costs of maintaining the bike (excluding upgradetitis), that’s probably a saving of around 30,000PHP. If you include upgradetitis though, uhm…next question, please?