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The Bay Area Has Some of the Most Expensive Commutes in the U.S.

The Bay Area is setting records once again, but not for anything good. On a list of the ten cities in the United States with the most expensive commutes, half of the list is taken up by cities in California, and four of the ten are in the Bay Area.

The #1 most expensive city for workers trying to get to their offices, according to, is Fremont, California. Over the course of a year, a person earning the median income in that city would spend 16% of their earnings on their commute alone.

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“The average American spends a lot of time, money, and energy on commuting, affecting personal time,” the analysis says. “Although commute costs vary from state to state and city to city, it’s concerning that many Americans lose money on their commute due to their location. You also have to factor in the cost of your car and auto insurance.” got its data from the 2019 census and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — and it therefore may not still be accurate, given all that’s changed around remote work.

The agency says the average travel time for people to get from their homes to their jobs in Fremont is about 36 minutes. That commute costs drivers about $60 a day, the analysts found, adding up to $15,005 over the course of a year.

Next on the list is San Francisco. There, it takes employees an average of 35 minutes to get to work – something that costs them about $52 every single day. In total, that amounts to $13,015 a year.

#6 on the list is San Jose, with an average commute cost of $9,813 annually. That breaks down to $39 a day for a 32-minute mean travel time.

The last Bay Area city to make the Top 10 list is Oakland. There, commuters spend 68 minutes in total going to and from work, for an average cost of $37 a day or $9,176 annually.

Outside of the Bay, Irvine’s stats are very close to Oakland, but it’s listed as the eighth most expensive.

“Irvine, California, is the eighth-most expensive city for commuters. Workers spend an annual $9,526, or a daily $38 getting to and from work. Most employees in Irvine work 38 hours a week for a reasonable pay rate of $48 per hour,” the report says.

The top 10 cities with the most expensive commutes are:

• Fremont, CA: $15,005
• San Francisco, CA: $13,015
• Jersey City, NJ: $10,602
• Arlingonton, VA: $10, 385
• New York, NY: $10,275
• San Jose, CA: $9,813
• Seattle, WA: $9,790
• Irvine, CA: $9,526
• Oakland, CA: $9,176
• Chicago, IL: $8,033

Four of the ten least expensive commutes are in Texas. That list for the least amount of money spent on annual commutes is as follows:

• Lubbock, TX: $2,874
• Laredo, TX: $3,200
• Tulsa, OK: $3,241
• Wichita, KS: $3,417
• Corpus Christi, TX: $3,447
• Norfolk, VA: $3,449
• El Paso, TX: $3,635
• Memphis, TN: $3,743
• Tucson, AZ: $3,843
• Cleveland, OH: $3,853

Photo: Saketh Garuda on Unsplash

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