My Car Sucks $7,000 A Year Out Of The Local Economy…Sorry
National Building Museum created this graphic in their Intelligent Cities program. Using numbers from AAA, the average American spends $8,485/annually on an automobile. Of that amount, only $1,390 stays in the local economy. The rest, $7,095 per vehicle, leaves the local economy.
Is that intelligent? Is it intelligent for a community to subsidize and facilitate car ownership?
In Traverse City, let’s assume of the 14,000 residents that there is 70% car ownership or around 10,000 primary vehicles. If only 1% of us chose to give up a car (walk & bike more, ride-share, bus and rent instead), with these numbers that would be $709,500 NOT leaving the economy.
It is a modest goal, 100 fewer cars, but with a big payoff. If we are feeling frisky, we could go for 1000 fewer cars and be that much more resilient as a local economy.
Of course, there are likely other factors to consider, but it isn’t like we haven’t seen this before: Where Your Gas Dollar Goes?.