Kaid Benfield Archive


When is your city’s "transportation freedom day"?

Kaid Benfield

Posted April 3, 2009 at 1:19PM

, ,

The public interest group U.S.PIRG has calculated the day by which residents of America's metro areas will, on average, have earned enough money to pay for their annual transportation costs.  (by: U.S. PIRG)If you're lucky, perhaps you live in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area: if so, you passed your magic day a month ago, on March 1, and everything you earn after that date may be spent on something else.

The region pithily named "New York--Northern New Jersey--Long Island, NY--NJ--CT-PA" is not far behind, the average resident there having earned enough to pay off its transportation bill on March 7.  Three regions are only a few days behind, including the Washington, DC area (I'm guessing because we have a great public transportation system, as American regions go, and it is heavily used).

Now that's still two month's pay or a little more just to get around, but for this purpose it beats living in Stockton-Lodi, Tuscon, or Champaign-Urbana, all of which soak up three full months' worth of pay before you can spend it on anything else.  To view the whole chart and see how your location fares, go here,