I live in Manchester, I live in the suburbs, 8 kilometres (5 miles) from where I work in the city centre. I usually cycle to work however sometimes I use a car or the tram.

Where I live is a 3 minute walk to the nearest tram station, and about 5 to 10 minute walk from the tram station to work. When I use a car I have to walk about 5 minutes from the car to walk however I am picked up from work on the way home.

I travel to work early at about 7:30 am avoiding the peak rush hour however on the way home I travel at 5pm, the peak of the rush hour.

I decided to measure how long each method of transport took in each direction, partially out of interest and partially to use my new HTC Wildfire phone and MyTracks application that can be used to measure routes travelled and upload them to Google Docs.

I have collected over the last six months at least 10 tracks in each direction for each of the means of transport. And the results are….

  car tram bike
2 work 00:39:36 00:44:26 00:32:48
2 home 00:53:42 00:42:00 00:37:41

This is the average time needed to complete a trip in each direction. It is worth noting that the cycle trips do not include the time needed to get changed and as mentioned the car trip to work does include a 5 minute walk.

The thing that does come through is that car transport is very sensitive to when I travel, in that at peak rush hour its takes a lot longer whereas bike travel seems to be a lot more predictable no matter what the road conditions are.

Its worth looking at the spread in times for each method






Of course the other thing to factor in is the health benefits of regular exercise :-)