Private transportation

News December 05, 2000
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A report issued by the Surface Transportation Policy Project links "sprawl" in 28 metropolitan areas with higher than average t

A report issued by the Surface Transportation Policy Project links "sprawl" in 28 metropolitan areas with higher than average transportation costs for residents.


Titled "Driven to Speed", the report concluded that "the places where households spend the smallest portion of their budgets on transportation are more likely to have a compact form and a good public transportation system."


The report created its own sprawl index based on mix of land uses, clustering and centeredness and compactness. It correlates that index with a "transportation choice ratio" of public transportation to highways, based upon dividing the miles of public transportation service per household offered over the period of one hour by the number of lane miles of highway per household in that area. New York has the highest ratio, while Kansas City has the lowest of the 28 metropolitan areas analyzed.


The report claims that of the $805 billion in personal and public expenditures on transportation in 1998, 84%--or more than $675 billion--was personal. According to their citation of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer expenditures, 18 cents of every dollar spent by American households goes to transportation. At 19 cents per dollar, shelter holds the largest share.


Of the average $6,312 spent by households on transportation, 46% was devoted to vehicle purchase, 12% to insurance, 11% to gasoline and motor oil and 6% to gasoline taxes. Only 2% was spent on public transportation.


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