Management & Operations

Houston households spend most on transportation

Posted on June 15, 2005

Households in the Houston metropolitan area pay 20.9% of their income for transportation, the highest share according to a newly released study. The study, conducted by the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, ranked 28 metropolitan areas on their combined transportation and housing costs. While Houston families paid the highest share of their incomes for transportation, Cleveland and Detroit were not far behind, with a 20.5% share. Regions paying the smallest amount of income on transportation were the Baltimore metro area (14%), Portland, Ore. (15.1%), and Washington, D.C., and New York (15.4%). Other study findings included: -Households in regions that invested in public transportation reap financial benefits from having affordable transportation options, even as gasoline prices rise. -Low income families are greatly impacted by higher transportation costs since transportation expenditures claim a higher percentage of their family budgets. For the first time, the study analyzed the effects of gasoline price hikes and ranked areas by the jump in household expenditures due to gas prices. From 2003 to 2004, Los Angeles area families paid $316 more per household for gas, and Kansas City, Mo., metro residents paid $312, the second highest. "Transportation costs are already too high and recent spikes in gas prices only make the burden on families heavier," said Anne E. Canby, STPP president. "This is a wakeup call to Congress." For more information on the report log on to

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