22 cities where residents spend most on transportation


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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on CoPilot.

One and a half years into the pandemic, COVID-19 continues to have profound effects on the global economy.

The sudden shutdown of many aspects of daily life has diminished since last spring, but the economic recovery has been inconsistent, affecting supply and demand differently across sectors. This precarious course of economic recovery has raised fears of inflation, with prices in many sectors showing dramatic fluctuations and challenging household spending.

One area in which these economic effects are most evident is consumer spending on transportation.

Data on the Consumer Price Index, a common measure of inflation, reveals how much the pandemic is affecting spending on household transportation. Gasoline prices collapsed last spring in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdown but are starting to recover as motorists return to the roads later in the summer of 2020. Meanwhile, the new and used car market has been one of the most prominent economic stories to emerge from the pandemic.

With a global supply chain disrupted dating back to early 2020, many auto manufacturers have been unable to obtain the parts needed to produce model numbers of new cars. With the shortage of new cars, used cars have seen significant increases in value, with a 45% increase in prices from June 2020 to June 2021.

These higher costs are likely to put additional pressure on US household spending.

To identify urban areas where people spend the most on transportation, researchers at CoPilot analyzed data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics on the nation’s largest central areas.

Here’s how the nation’s largest metro stations stack up on transportation spending.

22. New York, New York

New York City Coast
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 12.5%

Total expenditure on transportation: $9,255

Vehicle Purchases: $2,219

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $1,521

Public transportation and others: 1874 USD

Other car expenses: $3641

Average Annual Expenses: $73,806

21. San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
IM_photo / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 12.7%

Total expenditure on transportation: 11,103 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: $3,796

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,123

Public transportation and others: 1736 dollars

Other car expenses: $3,448

Average Annual Expenses: $87,287

20. Minneapolis St.. Paul, Minnesota

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis
Roger Siljander / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 13.2%

Total expenditure on transportation: $11,049

Vehicle Purchases: $3,705

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,216

Public transportation and others: $1,465

Other car expenses: $3,664

Average Annual Expenses: $84,006

19. Honolulu, HI

Honolulu, Hawaii
MNStudio / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 13.2%

Total expenditure on transportation: 8,403 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: 2,865 USD

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $1,851

Public transportation and others: $1143

Other car expenses: 2543 USD

Average Annual Expenses: $63,481

18. Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Christopher Kettner / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 14.0%

Total expenditure on transportation: $9,084

Vehicle Purchases: 3,188 USD

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: 1,882 USD

Public transportation and others: $1059

Other car expenses: $2,955 USD

Average Annual Expenses: 64,804 dollars

17. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston skyline summer day.
Danica Chang / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 14.1%

Total expenditure on transportation: $11779

Vehicle Purchases: $4,941

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $1857

Public transportation and others: $1,398

Other car expenses: $3,584

Average Annual Expenses: $83,297

16. Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 14.2%

Total expenditure on transportation: 11,506 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: $3,902

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,290 USD

Public transportation and others: $1625

Other car expenses: $3,689

Average Annual Expenses: $81,266

15. Washington, DC

US Capitol Building
Orhan Kam / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 14.3%

Total expenditure on transportation: $13,646

Vehicle Purchases: $5,712

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: 2107 US dollars

Public transportation and others: 1990 dollars

Other car expenses: $3,837

Average Annual Expenses: $95,441

14. San Diego, California

The San Diego skyline, where average rent is well below average mortgage payments
Dancestrokes / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 15.1%

Total expenditure on transportation: 11,704 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: $3,334

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,576

Public transportation and others: 1504 US dollars

Other car expenses: $4,291

Average Annual Expenses: $77,451

13. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia
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Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 15.4%

Total expenditure on transportation: 11,136 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: $4,037

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: 1908 US dollars

Public transportation and others: $1280

Other car expenses: $3,911

Average Annual Expenses: $72,460

12. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia, Piedmont Park skyline, autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 15.4%

Total expenditure on transportation: $9862

Vehicle Purchases: $3,071

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,338

Public transportation and others: 1,083 USD

Other car expenses: $3370

Average Annual Expenses: 64,103 dollars

11. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Aneese / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 15.6%

Total expenditure on transportation: $10,472

Vehicle Purchases: $3,601

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,277

Public transportation and others: $846

Other car expenses: $3,748

Average Annual Expenses: 66,966 dollars

10. Los Angeles, California

Angels
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 15.7%

Total expenditure on transportation: $10,959

Vehicle Purchases: $3,435 USD

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,890

Public transportation and others: 910 bucks

Other car expenses: $3,723

Average Annual Expenses: $69,824

9. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
EdgeofReason / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 16.2%

Total expenditure on transportation: 12,331 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: $4,641

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: 1,943 USD

Public transportation and others: $1121

Other car expenses: $4,626

Average Annual Expenses: $76,274

8. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 16.4%

Total expenditure on transportation: 12,352 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: $4,413

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: 2390 USD

Public transportation and others: 1,320 USD

Other car expenses: $4,228

Average Annual Expenses: $75,288

7. Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 17.1%

Total expenditure on transportation: $13,255

Vehicle Purchases: 6,482 USD

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2100

Public transportation and others: USD 1146

Other car expenses: $3,527

Average Annual Expenses: $77,598

6. St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
KENNY TONG / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 17.2%

Total expenditure on transportation: $111,123

Vehicle Purchases: $5,070

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,097

Public transportation and others: $695

Other car expenses: 3,262 USD

Average Annual Expenses: $64,777

5. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit
Jason Grindel / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 17.3%

Total expenditure on transportation: $11,260

Vehicle Purchases: $3,507

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2111

Public transportation and others: 703 dollars

Other car expenses: $4,939

Average Annual Expenses: $65,163

4. Anchorage, AK

Anchorage, Alaska
Rocky Grimes / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 17.3%

Total expenditure on transportation: $13,313

Vehicle Purchases: $5,539

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,363

Public transportation and others: 1,594 USD

Other car expenses: $3,816

Average Annual Expenses: $76,784

3. Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
kevin-j-king / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 18.1%

Total expenditure on transportation: $10,692

Vehicle Purchases: 4,903 dollars

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $1,814

Public transportation and others: $743

Other car expenses: 3232 USD

Average Annual Expenses: $59,193

2. Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Anton Folten / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 18.8%

Total expenditure on transportation: 12,525 dollars

Vehicle Purchases: $5,890

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,151

Public transportation and others: $734

Other car expenses: 3750 USD

Average Annual Expenses: $66,489

1. Miami, Florida

Miami, Florida
littleny / Shutterstock.com

Share of expenditure on transportation in the total: 19.0%

Total expenditure on transportation: $10,915

Vehicle Purchases: $3,108

Gas and other fuels and motor oils: $2,421

Public transportation and others: $759

Other car expenses: $4,626

Average Annual Expenses: $57,472

methodology

A man studies financial data on his computer
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The data used in this analysis is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Spending Survey. To identify cities in which residents spend the most on transportation, the researchers calculated total transportation spending as a share of total spending in each metropolitan area.

In the event of a tie, the metro with the highest total consumer spending on transportation ranked highest. Only 22 metropolitan areas were included with the data available from the BLS.

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