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The Social Costs of Driving in Vancouver, in 1 Chart

A new data tool shows society pays $9.20 for every dollar spent in a car.
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Flickr/spclarke

Ballots are still rolling in for a Vancouver referendum on a plan to reduce traffic congestion 20 percent by improving car alternatives. Now, an interactive tool can help those residents that have not yet cast their vote understand all the costs and benefits associated with different modes of transport in the metro area.

The tool, created by data journalism initiative Moving Forward and transport engineer George Poulos, estimates both individual and social costs of different ways of getting around the city. One chart gleaned from their calculations summarizes these costs (below). It shows that driving is highly subsidized by society when you account for social costs such as air pollution, traffic congestion, and road safety: