Thursday, July 03, 2008


New research from the Center for Neighborhood Technology shows that people who live close to transit, jobs, schools and retail - typically in cities and inner ring suburbs - spend up to $2,100 less annually on gasoline than residents of outer ring suburbs, where homes and amenities are generally more spread out and require more driving.

The research, which compares average household gasoline expenses based on the average number of vehicle miles traveled per household, examines 52 U.S. metropolitan areas across the country. It also looks at percentage of household income spent on transportation, number of vehicles per household, transit ridership and other variables on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.

"With gasoline prices well over $4 per gallon in many parts of the country and continuing to climb, we're really seeing the big payoff of living in traditional urban neighborhoods, where you need to drive less to get to school and work, shopping and entertainment, said Scott Bernstein, president of the Center for Neighborhood Technology. "In some of the more dispersed areas, the average number of vehicle miles traveled per household exceeds more than 20,000 annually. At today's gas prices, and an average gas mileage of 20.3 miles per gallon, that can mean an annual household expenditure of almost $4,000 on gas alone. Across the 52 metro areas studied, residents spent a combined $107.4 billion more on gasoline in 2008 than in 2000, an average increase regionally of 155%.