Externalities, Hidden Costs and Transit Reform

Reforming our current(primarily highway based) transit mode is the smart thing to do, but it’s not a bad thing to have more information on the true costs of the current highway mode of transportation.

Here’s an article that’s been working its way across the internet(I originally found it via Streetsblog.net, who found it through a pro-bike blog) by Todd Litman of Planetizen. He writes:

Housing and transport expenses exceed the recommended limits (33% for housing and 20% for transport, or 45% combined) for the two lowest income quintiles (40% of the U.S. population). Since zero-vehicle households spend relatively little on transport, transportation inaffordability is even worse than this graph indicates for the 77.5% of these lower-income households that own motor vehicles. In other words, “affordable automobile dependency” is an oxymoron: You can have affordable transportation or you can have automobile dependency, but it is impossible to have both, and efforts to make driving “affordable” simply shift the costs to other economic sectors, such as government, businesses, or housing.

He makes his argument from too many angles for me to introduce in a short post, so rather than just continue copying and pasting snippets from the article, I will just highly recommend reading it.

Posted on November 3, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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