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Top cities with the most expensive commutes, based on time wasted


Your commute isn’t just costing you a subway fare or the price of gas — commuting costs time, and time is money. 

Online loan marketplace Lending Tree published a report on the most expensive commutes in the 100 largest cities in the US in October. Lending Tree posits that the cost of a commute can be calculated by assuming time commuting has the same worth as time spent working.

Consider a resident in New York, which Lending Tree ranked as the city with the fifth most expensive commute. Using Lending Tree’s findings via 2017 Census Bureau data, the median annual earnings for a full-time employee in New York is $51,573; their hourly wage is $26. Now ,consider the mean time of commuting one way, 41.8 minutes. If you make $26 per hour at your job, and you spend 83.6 minutes daily on your round-trip commute, then your time wasted commuting is worth $37 of time you would have been working.

Five cities in California — Oakland, San Jose, Irvine, San Francisco, and Fremont — took top 10 spots in Lending Tree’s ranking, with four of those cities being in the increasingly expensive San Francisco Bay Area.

Here are the 10 US cities with the most expensive commutes per person, given commute time and salary.


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