Americans are spending more money getting to work and sitting in traffic than they are on food. Messed up, right?
The Department of Treasury and its esteemed Council of Economic Advisers has finished its most recent Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment and has found…infrastructure’s messed up. Mostly due to long-distance commutes and rising gasoline prices, with the former pushing and prodding the latter higher and higher in a vicious cycle (there’s also the possibility of market manipulation by those evil Wall Street traders…but we’ll leave that to the Times, Journal and Jim Cramer to debate)
All those hours in traffic helps us piss away 1.9 billion gallons of gas and $100 million in lost time and wasted fuel. How do we go about relieving all this traffic tension? Investment in infrastructure, offering high-speed railways and better public transportation to eventually make driving in big cities tolerable again. One study the DoT analysis cited discovered that individuals in a two-person household that ride public transportation and eliminate one car (not both!) can save $10,000 annually.
It goes beyond just creating new and better ways to get places, too. A different study found poorly maintained roads cost the average driver $400 a year, mainly from needless car wear and tear caused by potholes and gravel and ruts.
Before anything of substance comes into effect, the best way to cut down on transportation costs immediately is buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle (with CarWoo!), and try and take some semblance of public transportation when you’re able.