By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
People often cite the high rates of rent in the district to justify their move to the ‘burbs. A new report may indicate this strategy backfires on suburban dwellers, based on transportation costs.
For example, the average Dupont Circle dweller spends $636 on transportation in a month while a College Park denizen pays $1,246 as reported by Washington Examiner (“Suburban life not really cheaper than city living”).
So even if your rent is too damn high, you may be able to even it out by walking to work or taking a less expensive Metro fare. I’m guessing that $636 per month for Duponters includes people who are making car payments, paying for insurance and maintenance, etc.
If you think about it, this makes sense; with the rising price of gas, if you have to drive your car to work, to Metro, to the bar and to the grocery store, your cheaper rent is eaten up in additional gas and parking expenses. What the study doesn’t tell us, at least in the Examiner piece, is how much higher the rent is in Dupont.
So if you live and work in the neighborhood, $636 seems a little bit high for a total month of transportation. If you are more frugal with your transportation, does the percentage tradeoff still work out in the urban dwellers favor?
Also… I have to add: It’s also more fun and convenient to live downtown.