Hawaiʻi Health Data Warehouse

The Costs of the Vehicle Economy in Hawai‘i

The Costs of the Vehicle Economy in Hawai‘i,” prepared for Ulupono Initiative by ICF Incorporated, LLC, presents a summary of the public and private costs in Hawaiʻi of the vehicle economy. This includes all roadways, vehicles, and transportation infrastructure costs (e.g., bridges, on-off ramps, signs, speedbumps, parking) as well as associated costs such as pollution and congestion that result from the use of the ground transportation system. Here are some highlights from the 2021 report:

  • Hawaii’s ground transportation system has an annual price tag of $21.8 billion.
  • More than half ($11.2 billion) of this is borne by the public in the form of state and county budget costs, social and economic costs, and the real estate value of land set aside for roadways and parking spaces.
  • The remaining $10.6 billion is borne directly by consumers in the form of vehicle ownership costs, including maintenance and operation.
  • Public costs amount to roughly $15,000 per taxpayer ($24,400 per household), annually, even if they don’t own a car.
  • Personal vehicles cost an additional $16,200 per household per year. Combined with the public costs above, each household’s cost total $31,200 per year (or 39 % of pre-tax income).

This report provides comprehensive local data to Hawai‘i leaders as they weigh expenditures and investments to address community needs. This information will also help Hawaii residents make informed choices for themselves about the costs they bear as both consumers and taxpayers. Click here to view the infographic.

HHM tiles (19)