ST. LOUIS — As offices reopen, St. Louisans could lose nearly an hour per day commuting, which could cost them an annual average of nearly $5,000.
St. Louis-area commuters rank No. 57 in a ranking that estimated the opportunity cost of commuting in the 100 largest cities in the U.S., according to a new report from online mortgage broker LendingTree.
In St. Louis the average commute is 48 minutes, which equals an opportunity cost of $4,867 annually, still lower than the national average of $5,679.
“If that time was spent on the clock rather than in the car, as it was for many during the COVID-19 crisis, workers could increase their yearly income," researchers said.
In St. Louis, researchers found that the median income for a full-time employee is $46,756, average workweek is 39 hours, average hourly wage is $24 and daily cost to commute is $19.
Compare that with:
- Kansas City, ranked No. 68 in the report: an average commute of 44 minutes with an average cost of $4,440; median income for a full-time employee at $46,865, average workweek of 39 hours, average hourly wage of $24 and a daily cost to commute of $18.
- Chicago, ranked No. 12 in the report: an average commute of 71 minutes with an average cost of $8,060; median income for a full-time employee at $53,348, average workweek of 39 hours, average hourly wage of $27 and a daily cost to commute of $32.
Other key findings:
- The average round-trip commute in the 100 largest cities is 52 minutes.
- Fremont, California – with a 73-minute commute at an average daily cost of $60 – has the costliest commute ($15,065), followed by San Francisco ($13,067) and Jersey City, New Jersey ($10,645).
- New York City has the longest commute, 83 minutes, but its average daily cost of $41 keeps it from being the most expensive ($10,319). Tulsa, Oklahoma, has the shortest — and least costly — commute, 37 minutes, or an average annual cost of $3,255.
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