RTP Drivers Spend More Money Commuting Than L.A. Drivers, Study Shows

Posted June 9, 2005 6:28 a.m. EDT

— People in the Triangle actually spend more money each year on their commute than people in Los Angeles, according to a recent study by

Sperling's Best Places




ranks Raleigh-Durham ninth on a list of most expensive places to drive, with commuters spending over $4,100 annually on gas and driving 58.6 miles daily.

Several factors contribute to the Triangle's costly commute. About 78 percent of drivers do not car pool, which adds up to more cars on the road.

About 12 percent of the population works in a different county. And only 3.04 percent of commuters use public transportation, according to Sperling's.

Julie Woosley, director of Research Triangle Park's Smart Commute, said she is not surprised by the new study.

The transportation management association, which addresses common transportation concerns in RTP, conducts an annual survey of transportation in the area in which many large companies in Durham and Wake counties participate.

"We saw a 20 percent increase in distance that commuters travel everyday to get to work," Woosley said.

RTP researchers said if people used alternative transportation, busses, car pools, or even bikes, just once a month, they could cut yearly driving costs 5 percent.

Sperling's study, which bases its findings on a typical family that has two wage earners commuting in separate vehicles, ranked Atlanta as the most expensive place for driving at just over $4,500 per year. Other cities earning a spot in the top ten included Birmingham, Nashville, Orlando, Indianapolis and San Francisco.