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New study uncovers Columbus commuting costs and you won’t like it

Regina Fox

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Apart from all the pain and suffering, have you ever wondered how much your work commute is costing you? Clever has, which is why they recently conducted a study examining commuting expenses across the 50 most-populated metros.

According to Clever, the study took into account fuel cost, maintenance cost, and time (because, after all, time is money). See below for how they defined the metrics:

  • Fuel Cost: Estimated by calculating the amount of gas used to commute to work (in gallons) by dividing the average distance to work by the average miles per gallon across vehicles (21.1333 MPG), then multiplying that by the average gas price per gallon.
  • Maintenance Cost: The cost of maintenance was calculated as the average cost of maintenance per mile (8.94 cents) multiplied by the average number of miles to work.
  • Time: Estimated the opportunity cost of a person’s time as the amount of money they could have earned had they been working instead of commuting by multiplying the average hourly wages by the number of hours spent commuting to work.

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Turns out, people in Columbus spend and average of 27.35 minutes in the car on the way to work. Annual car maintenance in Columbus totals $413.28, while gas costs $563.46 each year. After factoring in the estimated time opportunity cost, the annual cost of commuting in Columbus totals $6,819.61.

You may be boggling at that number, but you’ll be pleased to know Columbus is towards the front of the pack when it comes to affordability. We are the 15th cheapest city to commute, according to Clever, with New Orleans being the cheapest and Washington, D.C. being the most expensive.

See below for a full breakdown of the study results:

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Columbus man shares sexual assault allegations against OSU doctor on NBC News

614now Staff

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As sexual assault accusations continue to mount in the case against an Ohio State University sports doctor, one alleged victim shared his story on a national platform.

NBC News recently published an interview with Stephen Snyder-Hill, a Columbus-native, LGBTQ activist, and military veteran who has accused Dr. Richard Strauss of sexually assaulting him as a student over two decades ago.

Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005

Snyder-Hill told NBC after years of trying to suppress the memories of 1995, it all came flooding back when allegations first surfaced against Strauss last year.

Now, Snyder-Hill is among hundreds of men accusing Strauss of sexual abuse, and more than a dozen individuals seeking legal action against the university.

For more on Snyder-Hill's allegations against Strauss, visit nbcnew.com.

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Flying cars coming to Columbus? Local startup shows off drone-like vehicle

Mike Thomas

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From the newly unveiled SmartLane to self-driving shuttles, Columbus is a leader in forward-thinking transit options. Now, it seems a local startup is poised to take your daily commute into the next century—and into the skies!

According to a report from CNBC, Columbus-based company the Workhorse Group showed off its SureFly Octocopter—a drone-like vehicle with room for two passengers—at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this week.

CNBC reports that functional prototypes of the craft are already taking flight as the Workhorse Group pursues certification approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Built almost entirely out of carbon fiber, the autonomous SureFly resembles popular commercial drones already on the market, only much larger. The man-sized drone is powered by a combination of electric motors, diesel, and/or jet fuel.

The Workhorse Group expects production of its vehicles to begin in less than two years and is already taking deposits. When available for sale, the craft is expected to cost around $200,000. For more information, visit the official Surefly website.

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Map: Local man thinks he has the answer to Ohio passenger rail

Regina Fox

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Kevin Verhoff really doesn't like the idea of cars. He believes they're
"highly inefficient," they take up a "ton of space," and they cost a "lot of money," not to mention the "ridiculous amounts of money" Ohio shells out on highways every year.

Instead, Verhoff would like to see the Buckeye State use its resources to build a comprehensive rail network, which looks a little something like this:

"Is this crazy? Yes. Would it be awesome? Yes," wrote Verhoff.

Not only would this proposed network "use technology and processes which are currently available (unlike the hyperloop)," according to Verhoff, there's several more reasons to get onboard, literally:

  • It would serve 23 of Ohio’s 25 largest counties
  • With stops in 44 of Ohio’s counties, it would serve 9.6 Million residents (about 83% of Ohioans).
  • Cleveland to Columbus in about 2.5 hours.
  • Columbus to Cincy in 2 hours.
  • It could be part of a broader regional and national rail network that would connect Ohio to other major cities in the region, along with international connections in Canada.

Verhoff knew he couldn't get this train on the tracks, literally, without a projected cost. He estimates that in total, the 1,800-mile project would bear a $8.98 billion price tag ($5 million per mile), spread out over 20 years.

"That’s about a 10% increase in ODOT’s annual budget!" Verhoff added.

No doubt that's not a number to scoff at, but Verhoff believes the implication of passenger rail in Ohio would be much larger.

"Imagine someone being able to go from Sandusky to Cleveland for cancer treatments or a heart surgery, without having to pay $8000 per year to own a car," he wrote. "Businesses would start to look to Ohio as an innovative place that creates opportunities and links human capital together. More importantly, people would just have more options for getting around. It’s not that expensive, and it would be life-changing for a lot of Ohioans.

"It’s a crazy idea. But, it’s also a really good idea," Verhoff said.

To read more about Verhoff's master plan for passenger rail in Ohio, click here.

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