Friday, 30 August 2013

Commuting by public transport

I'm going out on the beers after work tonight, so my usual commuting options are limited; I can't cycle or drive after a few pints. This leaves few options and I chose public transport.

I've previously compared the commute by bicycle and public transport, but I've been working in a new office for a couple of months now, which is at the edge of Reading, instead of being right in the centre of town. I thought I'd see how the different transport methods commute to this new location.

Method Door to door time Cost Benefits Drawbacks
Public transport 1 hour 8 mins* £7.60 Unreliable, slow, expensive
Bicycle 24 mins** Free Fitness/Health, reliable, fast Unpleasant in harsh weather

* See breakdown below
** 7.5 miles

The public transport option was horrible. Here's a breakdown of the journey.

Walk to the station: 0.9 miles, 13 minutes
Buy ticket and wait for train: 7 minutes
Train to Reading: 6.8 miles, 14 minutes
Walk to bus stop: 0.2 miles, 4 minutes
Wait for bus: 12 minutes
Bus ride: 3.0 miles, 14 minutes
Walk to office: 0.3 miles, 4 minutes

Adding that together we get;

Activity Time spent
Walking 21 min
Waiting for public transport 19 min
On public transport 28 min

Here are maps of the GPS traces;
Route taken by public transport.
Route taken on bicycle.

Clearly public transport is a terrible way to commute. It was already worse than cycling but the new office location adds a bus ride which makes it much worse.


  1. another drawback of cycling is sweating, so you'd probably need to go slow or shower at the end of your ride....

  2. It's a very good post and I of course would favour the cycle. However, one benefit of public transport is that you can tuck into a good book or read a paper. I do miss that.