Tuesday, October 7, 2014

What are the Costs of Chauffering?

Evaluating Household Chauffeuring Burdens - Understanding Direct and Indirect Costs of Transporting Non-Drivers (11 page pdf, Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute, Aug. 24, 2014)

Today we review a research paper on the extent to which household chauffeuring of non-drivers, such as children or the elderly, is affected by the lack of public transit or the amount of urban sprawl. Analysis shows that up to 15% of total vehicle travel is spent chauffeuring and this sometimes contributes to traffic congestion because of return trips in an empty vehicle, as is the case when parents drive their children to school. This in turn has an economic cost (estimated at $332 M in the USA) which includes the operating costs, the driver’s time and the amount of congestion that slows other drivers commuting to work. As the number of elderly non-drivers doubles over the next decade, this aspect of vehicle travel will become even more important and calls for a higher priority for public transit as well as more attention to incentives for cycling and walking. chauffering  

Key Quotes:

 “Chauffeuring (also called escort transport) refers to motor vehicle travel specifically made to transport independent non-driver…. in 5-15% of total vehicle travel is for chauffeuring independent non-drivers, with higher rates for families with independent non-drivers (adolescents, people with disabilities, and fail seniors) located in automobile-dependent communities. “

“The portion of Americans 14-64 years of age without a driver's license rose from 21% in 2000 to 26% in 2012 …and even drivers who possess a license sometimes need chauffeuring if they cannot afford a vehicle, their vehicle fails, or they are impaired.”

“Poor public transit options often forced one parent, usually the mother, to reduce her work hours and spend more time transporting childrenmarried women with children make 2.3 trips with their children each day, nearly half of their 5.0 total average trips,”

“In 2009, school travel generated 5%–7% of vehicle travel and 10%–14% of all morning peak private vehicle travel …40% of parents who drive children to school return directly home which is probably relatively high percent for chauffeured trips since school commutes are relatively easy to coordinate with work commutes and errands”

"A survey of 1,237 British parents found that on average they drive 1,664 miles annually chauffeuring children …which is 23% of the 7,115 average annual miles driven per private car”

 “chauffeur vehicle trip lengths average 5 miles in compact communities and 10 miles in sprawled communities”

“Estimating that chauffeuring costs (including vehicle operating costs and drivers’ time valued at $12 per hour, which assumes a mix of low- and high-stress driving conditions) average $5.25 per trip or $1.05 per vehicle-mile, they estimate that rural and small urban transit services save $332 million annually in chauffeuring costs, 8% of the $4,276 million total estimated economic benefits.”

 “automobile dependency and sprawl require drivers to spend an additional 52 hours and 82 gallons of fuel to drive 1,648 annual vehicle miles compared with the same households located in a compact, multi-modal community. “

“improving walking and cycling conditions, public transit and taxi services, and land use accessibility by increasing development density and mix tends to reduce automobile dependency and allow non-drivers more independent mobility”

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