Add It Up - Driving pains

A look at the numbers

Rank of commute times in metro Atlanta vs. all major metropolitan areas in the United States: 3

Rank of Los Angeles: 8

Respective rankings of Atlanta and L.A. for traffic congestion: 5,1

Percentage of metro Atlantans who use public transit to commute: 3.3

Percentage of Angelenos who do: 5.7

Estimated years until Atlanta's traffic congestion reaches the severity of L.A.'s: 25

Estimated years to build the Beltline, a proposed loop of public transit circling Atlanta: 20

Miles of lanes the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank, recommends should be built to relieve metro Atlanta of future congestion: 2,600

Estimated cost of those roads: $13.1 billion

Cost to build the Beltline and commuter rail linking Atlanta to Athens and Macon: $3.3 billion

Number of MARTA trips that each person in metro Atlanta could take for $13.1 billion: 1,550

Percentage by which asthma-inducing pollutants decreased when a record number of commuters used public transit during the '96 Olympics: 28

Percentage by which children hospitalized for asthma decreased during those 17 days: 42

Amount of funding the Reason Foundation has received since 1998 from the ExxonMobil Foundation: $381,000

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey for 2005, Texas Transportation Institute, Atlanta Development Authority, Reason Foundation, Georgia Department of Transportation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Greenpeace