Making Use of Destination Rankings
Top U.S. Cities to Drive in Can Also be Promoted to Trade: For the most part, the “Top 10” or “Top 20” lists that rank destinations on any number of factors (number of jogging and bike paths; hiking trails, amount of traffic congestion and/or road construction; cost of a gallon of gas; etc.) serve a purpose. They establish a ranking based on a set of factors. But who are the rankings for? And who are supposed to pay attention to the rankings as a part of their path to purchase?
KIs the Answer—Don’t Drive Yourself if You Don’ Have to? Maybe destinations can feature the absence of stress factors brought on by driving a car in promoting their product(s) to tour operators and groups. There are other good reasons, one of them being the number of people who would prefer not to drive on their own, no matter what. In the case of international visitors, the reason could be simply that fly-drive” has never been an attractive option. So, no, thank you. I’m not this kind of FIT
Then, too, consider these random factors:
● Americans rely on cars to get around, as “87 percent of daily trips take place in personal vehicles,” according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic, fear of public transportation has led to more reliance on personal vehicles than usual, and car sales increased 9 percent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to last year.
● Driving your car is expensive. While driving offers a more isolated commute, it is often a major hassle and expense. Drivers annually spend an average of more than 310 hours on the road. That’s nearly 13 days. Add the costs of wasted time and fuel due to traffic congestions, and the collective tab comes to about $1,400 per driver each year.
● Road quality is another big factor in how pleasant one’s driving experience is. America’s highways and bridges are underfunded overall, with a backlog of hundreds of billions of dollars in repairs needed, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. The World Economic Forum ranks U.S. roads at 17th in quality out of 141 economically developed nations, too. It’s clear there’s room for improvement.
Some cities are better for those behind the wheel, though. In an effort to give a ranking of places based on which are easier to drive, WalletHub, a personal finance website based in Washington, D.C. and owned by Evolution Finance Inc., has come out with a ranking of the top cities to drive in (remember, this can also read with top cities to take a bus tour in) and, for the most part, no city with more than a population of more than a million is in the Top 20. (To get a better grasp of the numbers here, check out the Methodology that is explained following the table below.)
—In order to determine the best and worst cities for drivers, WalletHub compared a sample of the 100 most populated U.S. cities across four key dimensions: 1) Cost of Ownership & Maintenance, 2) Traffic & Infrastructure, 3) Safety and 4) Access to Vehicles & Maintenance. Our sample considers only the city proper in each case and excludes cities in the surrounding metro area.
—We evaluated those dimensions using 30 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for drivers. Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available at the state level only. For metrics marked with two asterisks (**), the square root of the population was used to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.
—Finally, WalletHub determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.