Maps of the Month

December 2015:
Historical Fixed-Rate Market and BATA Financing

Posted by Stella Wotherspoon | MTC GIS

This chart compares the historical fixed rate Revenue Bond Index (RBI) to the actual results of BATA's financings since 2000. As you can see, the average RBI over that time period is a little over 5%, while BATA's actual "all in" blended rate is nearly 100 basis points lower at 4%. That blended rate includes fixed rate, synthetic fixed rate, and variable rate debt. Our savings in debt service costs over the life of the financings are projected to exceed $2 billion. Looked at another way, our financing strategy has avoided about a $1.50 in higher tolls on all the state-owned bridges and has produced an outstanding financial result in a truly turbulent market. 

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November 2015:
Change in Low to Moderate Income Renters by Tract, 2000-2013

Posted by Stella Wotherspoon | MTC GIS

This map depicts that the region added 114,317 low- and moderate-income renters between 2000 and 2013 (or 72 households per census tract on average). But the distribution of these new and existing households was not uniform across the region. Census tracts that gained low- and moderate-income renters (green and blue on the map) were largely in more suburban areas of the region. Census tracts that lost a substantial number of low- and moderate-income renters (orange to red on the map), though concentrated in more urban areas, also are spread across the region, highlighting the fact that potential displacement of lower-income renter households is not just a 3-big-cities issue. Low-income renters is defined as households earning less than 80% of the county median income, and moderate-income renters as earning less than 120% county median income.

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October 2015:
U.S. Vehicle Miles Traveled at All-Time High After Decline Since the "Great Recession"

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

This graph shows the historical rolling 12-month total vehicle miles traveled on all roads starting in 1971. Vehicle miles traveled increased 4.2% year-over-year in July 2015, continuing an upward trajectory that started in March 2014. This ended an unprecedented five-year period of flat rolling 12-month totals following the ‘Great Recession’ of December 2007-June 2009.

Cheaper gasoline prices likely account for some of the increase, with the national average per gallon declining from $3.69 in July 2014 to $2.88 in July 2015. The rebound of the national economy, increased job growth, and expanding population are additional factors.

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September 2015:
How so many people in the U.S. live in so little of its space

By Ana Swanson, Washington Post Wonk Blog.

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

This map series highlights one of the most obvious and surprising facts about where people live in the United States. Most of the U.S. population live together in a few densely populated areas. While this is a well known fact, visual explanations of this characteristic can be quite striking. These 4 maps illustrate in different ways where we live, and how we actually inhabit so little of our country’s space.

Map 1 shows the coastal shoreline counties of the U.S., which are the counties that are directly adjacent to an open ocean, a major estuary, or the Great Lakes. According to 2014 Census data, 39.1 percent of the U.S. population lived in those counties, often within miles of the coast.

Map 2 highlights the largest and smallest counties in the U.S. Roughly fifty percent of the U.S. population lives in the country's 144 largest counties, while the roughly other 50 percent lives in 2,998 counties.

Map 3 compares America’s two largest counties (Los Angeles and Downtown Chicago) with the 14 smallest states.

Map 4 compares the population of these two counties with 1,437 of the country’s smallest counties. Nearly 5 percent of America's population lives in the counties covering downtown L.A. and downtown Chicago, which is the same proportion as those that live in the country's 1,437 smallest counties.

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July 2015:
This Year Is Headed for the Hottest on Record, by a Long Shot

By Tom Randall, Bloomberg Business. June 18, 2015

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

According to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This past May was the hottest May on record. In fact, the past five months were the warmest start to a year on record since 1880. It's a continuation of trends that made 2014 the most blistering year for the surface of the planet. The stifling start to 2015 may be just the beginning. Thirteen of the 14 hottest years are in the 21st century, and 2015 is on track to break the heat record again. It isn't even close.

The National Weather Service predicts that a pattern of unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean, known as El Niño, has an 85 percent chance of persisting through the 2015-2016 winter. And this El Nino could be a big one. A strong El Niño doesn't guarantee record-breaking heat, but combined with the general trend of global warming, that possibility is looking increasingly likely. El Niño conditions transfer heat that's been building in the ocean into the atmosphere, affecting weather around the world. A protracted El Niño could bring relief to California's unprecedented drought in the form of heavy rains, but would likely add another year to the rising stack of broken temperature records.

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June 2015:
Bay Area Housing Production:
Forecast vs. Observed

What year will your city reach its 2040 housing growth forecast, assuming the annualized housing production rate in 2014 continues unabated?

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

Bay Area housing production accelerated in 2014, reflecting an ongoing recovery of the region’s housing market. Yet this recovery remains uneven, according to an MTC analysis of California Department of Finance data. In order to get a sense of how actual city housing production compares to the Plan Bay Area forecasts, this map was developed to indicate the year a city would be expected to reach its 2040 housing unit projection in the Plan – assuming that the city’s 2014 housing production rate continues unabated over the coming years. Notably, the region’s two largest cities, San Jose and San Francisco, are on track to produce the level of housing envisioned in Plan Bay Area – if their relatively rapid year 2014 housing production rate continues in the years to come. The results are more mixed in the East Bay. Communities such as Dublin, Brentwood, and Antioch producing housing much faster than envisioned in the Plan; in stark contrast, inner East Bay communities like Oakland and Fremont would not meet their 2040 housing forecast until the mid-to-late-2100s at their current rate of production.

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May 2015:
The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up

Posted by Gilbert Frausto | MTC GIS

Children who grow up in some places go on to earn much more than theywould if they grew up elsewhere. Location matters – enormously. If you’re poor and live in the San Francisco area, it’s better to be in Contra Costa County than in San Francisco County or Alameda County. Not only that, the younger you are when you move to Contra Costa, the better you will do on average. Children who move at earlier ages are less likely to become single parents, more likely to go to college and more likely to earn more. Every year a poor child spends in Contra Costa County adds about $160 to his or her annual household income at age 26, compared with a childhood spent in the average American county. Over the course of a full childhood, which is up to age 20 for the purposes of this analysis, the difference adds up to about $3,200, or 12 percent, more in average income as a young adult. These findings, particularly those that show how much each additional year matters, are from a new study by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren that has huge consequences on how we think about poverty and mobility in the United States.

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April 2015:
New TomTom Data reveals rush hour traffic doubles journey times for commuters Top 25 Worst Congested Urban Areas within the U.S.

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

According to a recent report released by TomTom, drivers during the rush hour commute can expect congestion levels to significantly increase their commute time. On average, drivers will spend double the time in the car for most large metropolitan areas across the world during the evening commute alone. The average commuter spent an extra 100 hours a year traveling during the evening rush hour. In Los Angeles (Ranked 1st in the U.S. and 10th Worldwide), a 30 minute commute in the evening will take 54 minutes due to congestion, an extra 92 hours annually. Commuters in the Bay Area are only slightly better off than their counter parts in LA. The measured congestion in San Francisco (Ranked 2nd in the U.S. and 26th Worldwide) is at 34%, while San Jose (Ranked 6th in the US and 51st Worldwide) is at 30%.

TomTom roadway congestion is measured as an increase in overall travel times when compared to the posted speed limits on roadways. For example, a Congestion Level of 12% corresponds to 12% longer travel times.

The full report and press release can be viewed here: http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/trafficindex/#/about

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March 2015:
Negative Change in Homeownership Rates between 2005-2009 and 2009-2013

Posted by Kearey Smith | MTC GIS

Between 2005-2009 and 2009-2013, homeownership rates in the 9-county Bay Area decreased by about 2.8% overall. But the rates vary significantly across the region. The region’s lower-income neighborhoods and its outer suburbs were most impacted by the foreclosure crisis and therefore experienced the sharpest drop in homeownership rates. These communities include, Oakland, Hayward and San Ramon. On average, in 2013, the Bay Area had fewer homeowners than in 2005. These households will likely not benefit as much from the recent recovery compared to households that were able to retain ownership of their homes during the Great Recession.

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February 2015:
Access to Jobs and Opportunity

Posted by Gilbert Frausto | MTC GIS

This map shows Bay Area employment centers, tracts with long-standing poverty (defined as 30% or more of population having income less than 200% of the federal poverty level in 1990, 2000, and 2010), Communities of Concern, Priority Development Areas, and Kirwan Opportunity Index Areas.

The Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University has done extensive work which examines neighborhood conditions and proximity to opportunities such as high performing education or sustainable employment that have a critical impact on quality of life and self-advancement. The central premise of opportunity mapping is that residents of a metropolitan area are situated within an interconnected web of opportunities that shape their quality of life. Opportunity mapping provides an analytical framework to measure opportunity comprehensively in metropolitan regions and determine who has access to opportunity rich areas.

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January 2015:
Average Annual Price of Gas vs Gas Tax

Posted by Gilbert Frausto | MTC GIS

This month’s chart highlights the growing divide between the price of gas and the taxes imposed for its use. When gasoline topped $4 a gallon, opponents of an increase in the gas tax argued that prices were already too high. Now that the average price of regular gas has dropped to under $2.50 a gallon, the anti-tax environment that pervades Washington shows little support for increasing the gas tax to finance the upkeep of the nation’s roadways and public transit systems. This no-win dynamic is frustrating to advocates who had hoped falling gas prices might reinvigorate the idea of raising the gas tax, which they view as one of the simplest, fairest and most efficient ways to pay for transportation repairs and improvements.

The latest discussions about raising the gas tax come as the Energy Information Administration estimates that the average American household will spend at least $550 less on gasoline next year than it did in 2014, a result of lower prices and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks that can travel farther on fewer gallons.

The last time the gasoline tax was raised was in 1993, and even that 4.3-cent-a-gallon increase was not initially dedicated to transportation repair and capital improvements, but rather was part of President Clinton’s budget-deficit reduction plan. That revenue stream was redirected to the federal Highway Trust Fund in 1997

Back then, the 18.4-cent tax on every gallon represented about 16 percent of the pump price. If the gas tax had kept pace with inflation it would be 30.1 cents today. The Trust Fund now faces a major decline of an estimated $160 billion deficit over the next 10 years.

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