Transport versus taxes, which cost us more?
How much money does sprawl cost households?
Of course, these savings depend on individual decisions, people who choose to live far from everything else and drive everywhere, even in places with good transit service and high density in urban areas, would still spend as much as before. But the important thing is that people have a CHOICE, to spend money on transport or not, something they do not have in sprawl.
One hint of this dynamic is that spending on transport in the bottom quintile (the poorest fifth of the population) in the United States is around 16% of total spending, which is the same proportion as the richest quintile. This means that though the poor try to cut on unnecessary spending, the necessary transport spending of sprawl makes them unable to lower their share of spending on transport to dedicate to more pressing needs. Meanwhile, in France, the bottom quintile manages to spend just 11% of their spending on transport, versus 16% for the rich. Same thing in Japan, where the bottom quintile spends just 6,0% of their total consumption spending on transport, while the richest quintile spends 11,1% of theirs. So in Europe and Japan, people who want to save money can cut on transport significantly while remaining active and functional, not in the United States.