Sharing a Bus is Cost-effective Compared to Ownership
With The Bus Co-op you make a one-time capital contribution of $7,500 that is returnable should your organization leave the co-op.
After that, it’s an hourly rate of $40 that includes insurance, maintenance, fuel, and access to the online booking and reporting system, so you know exactly what you are spending over the course of the year.
Owning a Bus is Expensive
Many agencies do not realize the full cost of ownership, since sometimes the bus has been provided as a sponsorship or donation. In other cases, the bus has been in the hands of the agency long enough that the cost of acquisition is overlooked. These are the only cases where the service scenario is similar to that of The Bus Co-op.
The annual cost of owning a bus depends on how much the bus is used. It ranges from approximately $18,000 per year for 4 hours per week of usage, to just over $35,000 per year for 12 hours per week of usage. The depreciation cost remains constant (although the bus will wear out faster with more usage), but the operating costs increase with usage. At 4 hours per week, then, the cost of the bus is $65 per hour. At 12 hours per week, $35 per hour.
On a 6.8 hour, 220 km trip per week then, the cost would be $47 per hour for the bus alone. Fuel for a 220 km ride would cost a further $106. The total cost for the above trip would be $426.
With a Bus Co-op bus the same trip would cost $280.
Renting a Bus
Renting is, of course, another form of vehicle sharing. Few car rental agencies rent out buses. One agency offered a 19 passenger van, front passenger side entry only, standard height and equipment for $178 per day, plus $.38 per km. They would rent it out by the hour at $32 per hour or portion of an hour. No km allowance is included in this, which they consider a commercial vehicle. At 6.8 hours, then, the daily rate would apply. Assuming that an agency had a way of covering the “additional” liability through a credit card or other means, rental would be $178, mileage would be $84, and fuel would be $106. Ignoring the vehicle rental tax and other taxes involved in the commercial rental of vehicles, then, the cost to rent a van for such a trip would be $366. The van could, however, carry up to 19 passengers, albeit with difficulty for anyone with mobility challenges.
Renting from another seniors’ agency is also sometimes possible. One local agency with a 22 passenger van charges $46.25 per hour not including fuel. With fuel costs at about $15 per hour, the comparable cost of bus rental is $61.25 per hour, or over 50% more than the co-op rate. For the sample trip, a bus, fitted out similarly to the buses of the co-op would cost $429.
And the winner is …
A Bus Co-op bus, hands down. It just makes sense. Keep exploring to find out more.