The Transportation Factor

When choosing a place to live in and around DC, we carefully calculated our options of living in the city versus those of living in Northern Virginia.  Though rent was cheaper in the outskirts, the commute cost both time and money, and in the end it just wasn’t worth the difference.  That’s why I’m glad to see this study by the District’s Office of Planning and the CNT, which maps out how transportation costs impact housing budgets.

As they state in the press release, neighborhood characteristics such as proximity to jobs and access to transit vary across the region and affect household transportation costs.  The study found that average household transportation costs across the region ranged from $8,500 to as much as $25,000 per year for a typical household. Actual costs can be even lower when the neighborhood enables the residents to live without owning a car. We haven’t taken that extreme step yet, because it’s nice to be able to drive out of the city. However, now living in the district has one more argument for it.

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