The data presented here are based on an analysis by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) (availableat http://www.sipp. census.gov/sipp). BTS plans to publish a full report in late 2003 on how the percentage of workers’ income spent on commuting varies by race, gender, age, location, household, and income definition covering 1996 to 1999.
For this study, BTS selected only those with a paid job during the reference period from the SIPP sample. Workers’ commuting expenses included fees and fares, for those who did not use their own vehicle to commute, and mileage expenses, parking fees, and tolls for those who used their own vehicle. The income figures represent cash income before taxes.
The percentage of income data presented here is in median values. A median is the middle value in a distribution, above and below which lie an equal number of values. For example, when the median spending on commuting by all workers who own their own vehicles is 5 percent of their income, half of all workers spend more than 5 percent of their income on commuting and the other half spend less than 5 percent.
U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Commuting Expenses: Disparity for the Working Poor, Issue Brief (Washington, DC: 2003).