How it Works

What the numbers mean and where they come from

We estimate total transportation costs for an average household from your region living in your neighborhood, including commuting, errands, and all the other trips around town. We count money spent on car ownership and use, as well as public transit use.  For CO2 emissions, we count car use only.  We use data from the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, a project of the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

How we calculate transportation costs

We use two kinds of variables to determine transportation costs: household and neighborhood. We use regional averages for the household variables.  The neighborhood variables use averages from the immediately surrounding area.

Here is an example of how it works, including which variables we use:

We plug the average household in the region into your specific location to find your transportation cost estimate.

A more detailed explanation of how the numbers are derived, including the sources for the data used, can be found in the methods section of the H+T® Affordability Index. You might also enjoy The Affordability Index: A New Tool for Measuring the True Affordability of a Housing Choice (pdf) by the Center for Transit Oriented Development and the Center for Neighborhood Technology.


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