Bus, Bike or Rail?

AZCentral’s City Life publication for the week of Feb 18th – 24th has an interesting article titled “Bus, Bike or Rail: Which is best from Central Phoenix”. The article details the author’s experiment to commute a 4 mile round trip to and from 2nd St/Van Buren and 15th Ave/McDowell. The results were interesting, light rail was the slowest at 35 minutes, followed by bus and bicycle, both at 20 minutes, and 12 minutes via car. Here’s what the author had to say about Bicycle:

Bicycle: This is my favorite option, at least November through April. Pedaling through Margaret T. Hance Park gives you a whole new perspective on the green space. And you get some exercise. Not such a good option when it’s 100 degrees at 9am, though. Commute time: 20 minutes.

A 4 mile bike ride resulting in 20 minutes of travel time for the round trip puts the average speed at 12mph, this is quite leisurely and probably necessary if one doesn’t want to perspire on the ride. I question whether it’s worth it to save 8 minutes by driving. On driving the author states:

… driving for a 4 mile round trip commute seems like an indulgence. Still, it’s good to have a car on days when there are errands to run.

A somewhat valid point, I’d be curious to know exactly how many days the author actually bikes to work and if she makes any attempt to lump errands into one day to limit driving. Interestingly, she does state, quite contradictory to the bicycle being her favorite option that:

But for daily commuting, I’ll be on Route 15 (a bus route).

Unfortunately I could not locate the City Life publication online so if you’d like to read the entire article you’ll have to pick it up at a free newsstand near you or you can try to the read the cameraphone picture posted to TwitPic, it’s mostly readable.