The High Cost Of Sprawl

A new report shows that transportation costs are taking an even bigger bite out of the family pocketbook, with America’s families now spending more than 19 cents out of every dollar earned on transportation.
July 28, 2003, 8am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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The report says that the nation’s poorest families are especially hard hit, spending more than 40 percent of their take home pay just to get around, an expenditure that that has risen 33 percent since 1992 and is making it all the more difficult for lower income families to afford housing, health care, and other critical services.The report, authored by the Surface Transportation Policy Project and titled Transportation Costs and the American Dream: Why a Lack of Transportation Choices Strains the Family Budget and Hinders Homeownership, uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to rank metro areas according to the portion of household expenditures devoted to transportation. Transportation costs are highest in sprawling areas such as Tampa, Phoenix and Dallas, due to spread out development patterns, the lack of transportation choices and the absence of convenient neighborhoods within walking distance of shops and schools. For many low and middle income families, the costs of owning and maintaining several vehicles may even be prohibiting their ability to own a home, one of the most reliable forms of wealth creation.

Thanks to Abhijeet Chavan

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