Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 14th, 2010 at 1:01 pm
A survey of U.S. cities shows that, when transportation costs are figured into the equation, moving out to the suburbs for a cheaper house isn't as affordable as most people think. It also shows that our neighbors to the south, Eugene Oregon, have one of the best commutes in America.
While the analysis doesn't mention how or if bike-ability plays into the equation, it should be noted that Eugene and Boulder, Colorado — two of the most bike-friendly cities in the country — ranked in the top ten on the "best commute" list (first and eighth respectively).
TheStreet and financial advice site Bundle surveyed what people in 90 different metropolitan areas spend on transportation each year and then ranked each city to see who had the best and worst commutes in terms of cost and traffic delay. When looking at data like average length of commute, miles traveled, annual hours delayed, auto expenses, and gas prices, the study found that Eugene was at the top of the "best" list. Dallas, Texas was on the bottom. Portland came in at 42nd.
Beyond the city rankings, the analysis made some important conclusions about our definition of "affordability" when it comes to housing:
Under the traditional definition of housing affordability (30% or less of household income spent on housing), seven out of 10 U.S. communities are considered "affordable" to the average household. But in almost all metro regions of the country, when the definition of affordability includes housing and transportation costs — at 45% of income — the number of communities affordable to low- and moderate-income households declines to four out of 10.
The data for the rankings came from Bundle, the Texas Transportation Institute, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Read the analysis and view a list of the rankings at Bundle.com.