How much does your commute cost?

Getting Started

Are you still driving to work? Your car may appear as the most convenient method of commute, but perhaps you haven’t fully realized the cost of your trips.

The Commute Cost Calculator, produced by Metro’s Rideshare program, estimates just how much cash your engine is burning. Play with the dials, see how the numbers change, add up your commute cost and reassess your decisions.

Consider replacing some trips by connecting with Metro. You could save money, time, and stop gritting your teeth at the endless sea of brake lights.

7 replies

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  2. To be a real fair comparison, you guys need to start adding motorcycles and scooters into the cost comparison calculator. There are growing number of people in LA who commute using motorized two wheeled vehicles to save on gas costs too you know?

  3. Driving Toyota Prius c hybrid with the following factors:

    Monthly parking fees: $0
    Monthly toll fees: $0
    Daily roundtrip commute: 10 miles
    Work days a month: 22
    Fuel economy: 50 MPG (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius_c#Fuel_economy_and_emissions)
    Cost of gas: $3.80

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    Results:

    Total Costs

    Monthly Commute Miles Driven: 220
    Monthly Gallons Consumed for Commute: 4.4
    Monthly Cost of Gas for Commute: $16.72
    Monthly Maintenance and Tire Cost for Commute*: $10.69

    Total Daily Commuting Cost: $1.25
    Total Monthly Commuting Costs: $27.41
    Total Yearly Commuting Cost: $328.94

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    What one can learn from this:

    A. Commuting distance is an important factor (live and work close to where you live, save tons of gas than commuting from way out in the suburbs)
    B. Drive a fuel efficient vehicle, like a hybrid vehicle
    C. Have a job that’s not in DTLA to so you don’t pay for parking and tolls
    C. Do these and it’s actually cheaper than going Metro ($1.75 per ride, $100 a month, $1200 a year)

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    To play around, I wondered how it’ll affect if I just used a scooter instead. There’s no drop down for a scooter (just small, medium, large sedans, minivans and SUVs) so I just slid the MPG rating to 100 MPG as that’s what scooters get and it went down to this:

    Total Costs

    Monthly Commute Miles Driven: 220
    Monthly Gallons Consumed for Commute: 2.2
    Monthly Cost of Gas for Commute: $8.36
    Monthly Maintenance and Tire Cost for Commute*: $10.69

    Total Daily Commuting Cost: $0.87
    Total Monthly Commuting Costs: $19.05
    Total Yearly Commuting Cost: $228.62

    So to travel 10 miles on a scooter that gets 100 MPG, my daily commuting cost is only $0.87, half the trip for one ride on Metro.
    And even if gas prices reached unrealistically $8.00 per gallon, it’s still going to be $1.29 per day, $28.29 per month, and about $340 per year when doing a daily 10 mi roundtrip commute riding on a 100 mpg scooter.

    Then again, I think it’s even cheaper than this because I see that the “Monthly Maintenance and Tire Cost for Commute*” portion didn’t change, which likely should be lower because if one rides a scooter, the maintenance and tires are much cheaper than a car (2 less tires and brakes to change!)

  4. Live and work close enough, you can do your commute virtually zero cost by plain old walking, riding a bicycle or using a skateboard.

    This city needs to start tearing down old homes and rebuilt. Everything is just too far away. In Hong Kong, if I want to buy groceries, all I have to do is take the elevator down, withdraw cash at the bank at the floor level of my building and walk across the street! I don’t need a car there, in fact, owning a car is more of a hassle than a convenience.

  5. What about insurance cost? It is mandatory to have liability insurance in CA and collision and theft coverage are required if you finance. What about the cost of financing the car purchase? Of course, if you buy your beautiful, economic Prius outright, you eliminate all these except liability and the cost of registration.

    • Insurance costs are more difficult to ascertain because it can vary widely depending on:

      1. How much one drives in a year
      A person who only puts 5,000 miles a year pays less than someone who drives 10,000 miles a year

      2. Multi-vehicle discounts
      Does the person own two or more vehicles and are the under the same insurance company? If so, they get a discount for that

      3. What the person’s driving record is
      Past history of at-fault accidents, unpaid citations, unpaid bills, bad credit history can all negatively affect insurance rates

      3. The age of the driver
      A 16 year old who got his/her first license is more at-risk than a 40 year old

      4. Driving history
      A 40 year old who got his/her first license is a year ago is more at-risk than the same 40 year old who has been driving since 16

      5. Any driver safety courses taken
      Young and older mature (65++ drivers can lower their insurance rate by taking a driver’s safety course

      6. Professional discounts offered by the insurance company
      College alumni association members, currently enrolled in an university with good standing, college professors, scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, etc. can be eligible for more discounts

      7. Multi-policy discounts
      In addition to car insurance, do they have life insurance or home/renter’s insurance with the same insurance company? People get discounts from that too

      There’s so many factors involved in auto insurance rates that it really depends from person to person.