Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein is the Metro Editor for WNYC News. She has previously served as Political Director, Director of Transportation Nation, and Senior Reporter.
Just in time for Earth Week, New York City is releasing a slew of reports showing how well-off it is because of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's green initiatives. Today's report comes by way of CEOs for Cities, in town holding its annual "Strategies for Cities" conference. Economist Joe Cortright ran the numbers: Because New Yorkers drive less, about 16 miles a day less than their counterparts in other urban areas, they spend $19 billion less a year than the "average" city dweller in the U.S. Sitting right on that average are Denver, Minneapolis, and Hartford, Conn.
It's not exactly news that New Yorkers drive less and save on transportation -- City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan (introduced at the conference as a "goddess") likes to say that everyone could immediately cut their carbon footprint by two-thirds simply by moving to New York.
But it's the first time the number has been aggregated this way.
By the way, Houston residents drive the most, an average of 38 miles a day. But in Houston, which has an oil economy, at least some of that money can be calculated to go back into the local area.