Report: 21st Century Transportation for Colorado

Transportation Freedom Day 2010

Released by: CoPIRG Foundation

The average person spends an astounding 17% of their income on transportation during the year but that cost can be lower if a community is walkable, bikeable or has good access to public transit.

To highlight the differences in transportation costs per city, CoPIRG released data from the Center of Neighborhood Technology that calculated each city’s Transportation Freedom Day - the date in which a typical household has earned enough to cover its annual transportation costs. That day tends to arrive earlier for residents of cities with more car-alternatives to getting around.

For residents in some cities like Englewood, Aurora and Littleton, that day will come earlier than many of their neighbors in Brighton, Parker and Evergreen.

Transportation Freedom Day is based on Census data including gas, repairs, parking, vehicle depreciation and transit fares and adjusts for differences in income across the region.

Here’s the Transportation Freedom Days for 26 cities in the Denver metro area:
* March 6th – City of Denver
* March 7th – City of Boulder
* March 9th – Englewood
* March 12th – Aurora
* March 13th – Lakewood, Littleton and Wheat Ridge
* March 14th – Golden, Northglenn, and Westminster
* March 15th – Arvada, Longmont, Louisville, Thornton and Superior
* March 16th – Commerce City and Lafayette
* March 17th – Broomfield, Highlands Ranch and Lone Tree
* March 19th – Brighton and Parker
* March 20th – Morrison
* March 23rd – Evergreen
* March 24th – Loveland
* March 25th – Erie
* March 26th – Fort Lupton

The average American household spent more than $8,000 per year on its vehicles in 2008 according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Transportation Freedom Day data comes from the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago, which is a leader in statistically based analysis of transportation and housing. Transportation costs are controlled for differences of income, family size, and number of working individuals in a household. Transportation demand is modeled using the most recent census data, and costs are calculated to include car ownership, maintenance, gas, and transit fares. A detailed description of their transportation cost methodology can be found at: .


CoPIRG stands for the Colorado Public Interest Research Group. CoPIRG is a statewide, non-partisan, consumer advocacy group.

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