2024 E-Insights Report

Affordability of Transportation and Utilities

Living in a vibrant metropolis like Tampa Bay offers countless opportunities and experiences, but navigating the urban concrete jungle also comes with its own set of challenges. Among the most crucial considerations are transportation and utilities costs, which significantly impact overall affordability and quality of life. This report sheds light on these vital aspects by meticulously comparing Tampa Bay to 19 diverse MSAs across the United States.

The USF team explored pertinent indicators such as the cost of commuting, cost of public transportation, entertainment, and recreational costs along with regional price parity for utilities, which reveals how closely Tampa Bay’s electricity, water and sewer costs align with the national average. By weaving together these diverse threads, this section reveals a complex tapestry of affordability in Tampa Bay. These insights are helpful in informing policy makers on how individuals decide where to live, work and play, to balance financial well-being and the Tampa Bay lifestyle.

Key Insights

  • Tampa Bay residents witnessed fluctuating utility costs with index value mostly moving around national average. However, the competitive position of the region dipped from 8th in 2020 to 13th in 2022.
  • Tampa Bay drivers spend about $3.50 per gallon for gas, right in line with the average across major MSAs. The Tampa Bay region falls within the mid-range of average car owning costs among the MSAs at around $25,000.
  • Compared to other MSAs, Tampa Bay falls within the midrange for one-way public transportation ticket costs at around $2.90 and leans towards the more affordable side for monthly public transportation passes, which cost $65.
  • Tampa Bay champions healthy lifestyles with its competitive rates for both gym memberships and public tennis courts. While Tampa Bay offers a diverse array of entertainment options, catching a recently released movie might come at a slightly higher price than in other parts of the country.