True Cost of Public Transit An Experiment Using Ride Sharing in Paris

<span class="entry-title-primary">True Cost of Public Transit</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">An Experiment Using Ride Sharing in Paris</span>

In Seoul I tend to favor public transportation, but during my recent trip to Paris I decided to not use public transportation, relying instead on ride sharing services to get around.

This experiment of mine was trying to test if the extra cost spent on these services, over public transportation, was worth saving the time.

In order to perform this test, I needed to calculate the cost and time spent on of all my trips and compare with the cost and time it would have spent on public transportation. The historical data of my trips was easy, as the ride sharing company stores this data. Thankfully Google Maps gives information on historical routes, so I was able to get estimate on all of my trips.

Calculation Method

For each of my trips, I took the departure and arrival locations from my historical record and used Google Maps to estimate the public transportation cost. For example, if I was traveling from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, I would use those locations in Google Maps, selecting the subway as the method of travel. After entering the locations, I selected the time and date of the actual trip, which would give me a total time and cost estimations of the trip.


Over the course of 17 trips, I spent a total cost of €107.44 more than I would have in public transportation; however, I also saved a total time of 6 hours and 50 minutes over public transportation.

Type Cost Time
Ride Sharing €139.74 5h 35m
Public Transportation €32.30 12h 25m

I always knew that public transportation is a bit slower, but the total cost difference was much lower than I expected. Possibly because I was using the sharing feature which drastically lowers the cost of a ride (side note, of the 17 sharing trips I took, only twice did I share the ride).

While these results do not change my mind about public transportation, it was an interesting experiment. Besides, using public transportation does allow one to use time efficiently (reading, thinking, listening and other activities).

“The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time.”
– Dante Alighieri

Time is a constant that does not return; once it is gone, you cannot get it back.