Commuting in has just ranked Houston as having one of America's Most Expensive Commutes...

"It's often said that the trip to work can kill you.  But if you live in Houston, what really takes a beating is your wallet.

"There, the average commuter spends 20.9% of his annual household costs on getting to work...

"... Robert Puentes, a metroplitan policy fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., says, 'In Houston, the cost of transportation is the No.1 household expense, above shelter.'

"But that's in part because Houstonians spend a lower than average proportion of their take-home pay on housing.

"And that's the trade-off.

"The percent of household income Houstonians spend on transportation may be the highest in the country, but when combined with the amount residents spend on housing expenses, Houston's aggregate cost ranks them 14th, with the composite cost equaling 52% of household income.

"Transit costs are high because Houston has few policies hindering sprawl, which in turn allows for cheaper housing..."

Matt Woolsey,, August 8, 2007

To read the full article, click here.  Houstonians will all agree that we spend waaaaay too much time in our cars.  As import as the expense of that commuting is, the time it takes is also costly.  When I moved my family from the suburbs into West University Place, I was delighted to discover just how much time (and money) I saved without the expensive commutes.  And with nearby community resources like great parks and museums, we were able to put that saved time and money to really good use.  Try it!  You'll like it!

Roger Martin