Monday, January 19, 2009

End the Ottawa bus strike petition

My armchair activism tonight consisted of signing Ecology Ottawa's petition to end the 40 day old Ottawa public transit strike.

For those not from Ottawa, yep, that's right, the cosmopolitan centre that is Ottawa has been without public transit for 40 days.

This article estimates that nearly 200,000 transit commuters are now driving to work. They then go on to estimate what the bus strike has cost commuters in terms of dollars. But let's take a sec to figure out what the strike has cost in terms of carbon footprint.

According to the article, because of the bus strike there are 97,000 extra cars on the road. The article further estimates that each car is traveling 40km a day.

By my calculations (see below). That means that 9,564,200L of gasoline is used by these extra cars.

Subtracting the approximate litres of gasoline that would have been used by public transit (calculations below): 5,456,978 .....

means that a grand total of 4,107,222 extra litres of gasoline has been used during the 40 days of the strike. That's equivalent to the ANNUAL gasoline consumption of 3,411 people. In 40 days.

p.s. my math skills suck so feel free to double check my calculations. Hubby that means you.

Gasoline usage of extra cars:
Assuming there have been 29 working days since the strike started (I'm counting the holidays but I'm not factoring in for folks who work on the weekends so I figure it balances. Ish).

So 97,000x40=3,880,000km extra travelled per day per car
x29 days=112,520,000km extra travelled by car for the whole strike so far.

Let's say the average fuel consumption is 8.5L per 100km (that's somewhere between a Toyota Yaris and a Rav4).

That means:
8.5x(112,520,000/100)=9,564,200L of gasoline

Is anyone bored yet of math?

Gasoline that would have been used by public transit:

According to the article, nearly 200,000 folks are no longer taking the bus. And these folks are travelling 40km each day for 29 days (using the above numbers).

If each of these people were doing the Riot for Austerity, they would have to count that travel at 100mpg.
232,000,000km=144,158,117 miles

144,158,117/100=1,441,581 gallons=5,456,978 litres


Hannah said...

New here and fellow tired Ottawan. Thanks for pointing out the petition. I also signed it and hopefully it will make a difference in ending this stupid strike!:)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your blog and have very much enjoyed everything I've read so far. I signed the petition and sent it to everyone I know. Somehow, somewhere, something's got to knock some sense into them. It's outrageous that this has been allowed to go on for so long. But, as Dave Reevely pointed out today at least this will finally put an end to all those who say our bus system is a waste of money - lots funds wasted for the benefit of a handful of people

SJR said...

Ok, all that math made my head hurt... I blame the strike for that as well.

Green Grrl said...

Welcome Hannah and XUP! Thanks for stopping by. I just received an email from EcologyOttawa to say that they have had 3,200 people sign the petition so far. Hopefully those numbers will keep going up and then the city/union will be forced to act!

SJR - lol. You and me both. I almost stopped doing calcultions half way through because I couldn't take it any more!