What does congestion cost the typical Texas household?
In October, Ellis and TTI Research Engineer Tim Lomax appeared before the Select Committee on Transportation Funding of the Texas House of Representatives to assess congestion costs to Texas households under six different scenarios:
- current funding trend;
- increasing vehicle registration fees by $30;
- doubling vehicle registration fees;
- spending $4 billion annually on new construction and $2 billion annually on maintenance;
- using Texas Emissions Reduction Plan funds to offset bond and pass-through debt and
- using oil severance-tax revenues to recapture bond and pass-through debt.
The researchers plotted two variables for each of the six scenarios:
- the impact of congestion on common consumer commodity prices; and
- the cost, in terms of both extra travel time and extra fuel, of not addressing congestion.
Two trends emerged from this analysis:
- By 2035, the annual cost of congestion for Texas households, on average, will increase from the current $1,500 to almost $5,400.
- If congestion costs were kept at current levels, every $1 in transportation infrastructure improvements would produce an estimated $6 in economic benefit.
The researchers found that the $4 billion-per-year construction investment would likely result in saving the typical household $3,390 per year by 2035, while costing each household only $350.
To hear the Ellis and Lomax testimony, visit the Expert Testimony page on TTI’s Strategic Transportation Solutions Center website.