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Transportation Trends and Housing Affordability

Living in a big city requires many things today. A car, however, is not one of them.

A new report by Trulia surveyed some of the largest markets in the nation, and found that New York, New York, has the lowest people-per-vehicle ratio of any metro in the nation, with one car for every 12.58 people.

The report studied ZIP codes of every metro market in the nation. ZIP codes associated to the New York—or the metro market of New York-Newark-New Jersey-Connecticut-Pennsylvania—had the 76 highest people-per-vehicle ratios.

San Francisco, California, and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland metro market, had the second highest ratio, with 5.03 people-per-vehicle. The Boston-Worcester-Providence metro market followed with 4.60 people-per-vehicle.

One trait that follows suit is the link to income and vehicles, as the average salary for all the highest-ranking New York markets was roughly $51,000. Another factor to consider, according to Trulia, is the density of population.

“Lower incomes, for their part, mean people are less able to afford a vehicle,” the report states. “And greater population density does two things: First, it makes space for parking more scarce and so, all else equal, more costly. Second, greater population density allows places to support public transit that is both more frequent and more efficient. Pricier parking and better transit both discourage the use of vehicles.”

“Take New York and Boston: In these metros it is density—not income—that is most clearly associated with the number of people per vehicle (especially in the denser parts of these metros),” according to the report. “At the same time, in Los Angeles and Houston it is income, not density, that is more closely associated with that number.”

The report states that the Knoxville, Tennessee, region has the lowest people-per-vehicle ratio in the nation for metros with more than 1 million residents with 1.31 people-per-vehicle. The metro areas of Dayton, Ohio (1.36) and Denver, Colorado (1.37) were close behind.

The town of Dennis, Massachusetts, had the nations lowest person-per-vehicle ratio at 0.98. Dennis has a reported population of just 507.

Houston, Texas, had the highest income-per-capita at $196,772, but had a person-per-vehicle ratio of just 1.22. The metro area of Fresno, California, reportedly had the lowest income-per-capita at $8,814, and had a person-per-vehicle ratio of 3.26.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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