The Chicago-based Center for Neighborhood Technology, who we've featured previously [See: Center For Neighborhood Technologies Releases Cost Of Living Index] has extended their research on how lifestyle choice affects one's budget and environmental "footprint." Their latest work focuses on fuel expenses as a function of where you live. The findings are stunning.
..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.That's considerably more than the tax rebate checks that large US families just got from the IRS. And, unlike a one-time give back from the Feds, the benefit of living denser is like the gift that keeps giving: it comes year after year.Anyone up to calculating the net present value of a move to the city based on saving $2,100/year, over the period of a mortgage? Or, for a more efficient car, over 4 year loan? Or, for a new job close to home (which might last longer than a few years because of reduced stress)?
For direct access to the interactive gas map tool, click here. Pick a region, and off you go.
Here are a few excerpts from the Center for Neighborhood Technology press release (which you should definitely read if you have questions):
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 – encompassing 60 million households. 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...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%.
The gas-cost findings are a newly released addition to the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, an interactive mapping web tool.
Image credit::Center for American Progress, Record Gas Prices Add Pressure to Already Squeezed Consumers, via AP/Jeff Chiu