California Cities Annual Costs of Commutes

Lending Tree has put out a study of the annual costs of commutes in US cities.  It evaluates this by using the average salaries in the cities, applied to the yearly number of hours spent commuting.   It’s hard to know how this relates to happiness.  I’m just giving the cost for California cities.

The average one-way commutes range from 19 minutes to 42 minutes, or about a factor of two.  The average salaries ranges from $82,000 to $27,000.  Should the high salary people be unhappier because the commute is equivalent to about $13,000 a year, or overjoyed because they are going to such high paying jobs, and back to beautiful suburbs?  It really is hard to say that the time spent commuting is of any less value on a human basis, irregardless of salary, or average salary.  And, everybody has their own personal evaluation, especially if there are daily traffic jams.

We had previously covered the INRIX Traffic Scorecard of the number of peak hours per year spent in heavy congestion.  Not surprisingly, Los Angeles came out as the top city in the world, with 104 hours, or over two and a half working weeks per year.

Lending tree ranks the cities by costs, rather than only commute times, but I give both data.  It’s easy to do your own personal calculation, no matter where you live.  The costs do not include gas or vehicle wear, since they vary with the vehicle and traffic.

Of course, with self driving vehicles we will have some more free time.  And with local office complexes and with communications allowing home area offices, long commutes can be avoided, not to mention the stress that goes along with commuting.

Rank-City Commute Time in Minutes Annual Cost
1 Fremont 34.9 $12,801
2 San Francisco 33.8 $11,719
4 Irvine 26.8 $9,818
9 San Jose 31.3 $8,782
10 Oakland 33.9 $8,549
15 Chula Vista 30.3 $7,211
19 Long Beach 31 $6,515
22 Los Angeles 31.8 $6,108
23 Riverside 30.9 $6,079
27 San Diego 24.7 $5,769
29 Sacramento 26.3 $5,694
37 Bakersfield 24.1 $5,211
38 Anaheim 27.7 $5,200
44 Stockton 29.2 $4,968
66 Fresno 22.7 $4,292
80 Santa Ana 26.1 $3,927

 

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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