#Commuter Lifestyle | Money Savings

Top 100 U.S. metro cities: Commuting costs

September 30, 2021

Adding commuter benefits helps offset opportunity costs

Are you losing money by commuting? Researchers for the online lending marketplace Lending Tree crunched the numbers to find out. They created the list of 100 largest metro areas in the United States and calculated the opportunity cost to commute in those areas.

Commuting is expensive. Lending Tree found that workers could increase their income by more than $5,679 on average if they didn’t have the commute. Workers were spending about one hour a day commuting, creating the possibility of lost wages since they had to get to work. The research didn’t consider commuting expenses like gas, tolls, maintenance for vehicles, parking costs, and more.

From the latest data available from the federal government, here’s a closer look at what Lending Tree found.

Least expensive commutes in the South and Midwest

If you’re looking for cities with the lowest opportunity costs for commuting, then Tulsa, OK, Wichita, KS, and Cleveland, OH are the places for you.

Of the 10 cities with the lowest opportunity costs, nine were in the South and the Midwest, except for Tucson, AZ. Other cities with the lowest opportunity costs include El Paso, TX, Toledo, OH, and Norfolk, VA. Opportunity costs range of the bottom 10 was $3,255 to $3,868.

Keep in mind that these cities tend to have the lowest median earnings.

The most expensive commutes were on the coasts

The most expensive commutes were found on the coasts, with 5 of the 10 in California.

The top two priciest commutes are for workers in Fremont and San Francisco. The range for the opportunity costs is between $9,214-$15,065. However, eight of the top 10 highest commutes had high median earnings. Fremont residents earn $95,221, on average, with San Francisco checking in at $90,475.

Commuter benefits helps offset the costs

Adding commuter benefits to your benefits package can help employees who need to commute to the office. Commuter benefits allow your employees to save up to $270 tax-free in their paychecks every month. The money can be used to pay for commuting costs like public transit, rideshares, and qualified parking costs.

Employees are not the only ones who benefit. Employers can save on the payroll tax. An employer with 50 employees can save up to $24,000 in a year.

Help your employees by adding commuter benefits. If you’d like to learn more, book a meeting with us today.

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