Study Shows Californians Could Spend Billions Less and Protect Climate by Developing Transit-Friendly Communities

A new study by Oakland-based non-profit TransForm shows that California residents living in transit-friendly communities, with good access to jobs and shopping sites, spend considerably less on transportation than those in other parts of the state. Those personal cost savings were complemented by local government savings on infrastructure, increased sales tax revenue, and substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The report found that the 20% of residents in California’s four largest regions – Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego – that have very good access to public transportation spent significantly less on transportation each year. If the other 80% of residents were able to spend the same on transportation, they would be spending $31 billion less per year on transportation. This would result in an average household savings of $3,850 each year.

The report calls for shifting policies and investments to support the development of more connected, convenient neighborhoods.