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Irvine Workers Spend Nearly $10,000 a Year Commuting, Study Says

Commuters with jobs in Irvine lose nearly $10,000 a year in time spent getting to work, according to a recent study.

Online loan platform LendingTree, using 2017 data from the United States Census Bureau, published its findings last month on the 100 cities with the highest commute cost based on how much time workers spend on the road.

The company reported that Irvine commuters, with their median earnings of about $81,000 and average one-way commute time of approximately 27 minutes, spent $38 a day commuting, or $9,818 annually. The data suggested that if Irvine commuters earned their median wage in the time they spent commuting, they would receive an additional 12% of their annual income.

Irvine ranked fourth highest nationally for cost of commute per worker. It was the only Southern California location in the top 10. 

Several Bay Area locations took high rankings, including Fremont at first place with an annual commute cost of about $12,800 and San Francisco at second place for a cost of about $11,700.

Several ranks down, Los Angeles was listed at 22nd, with an average one-way commute time of almost 32 minutes but a comparatively lower median income of about $42,100. The annual cost for commuters was listed as $6,108, or $23 per day — 14.5% of their annual income.

However, LA’s workforce of over 1,788,000 placed it in second place of LendingTree’s list of cities with the highest total commute costs, which listed the total citywide cost at over $10.9 billion a year. The first place on that list went to New York, at a cost of about $36.53 annually.

Another LendingTree study found that the average commute distance for Los Angeles is about 8.8 miles.

Long Beach was listed at 19th, with an annual commute cost of over $6,515. The study put other Southern California cities at lower ranks, with Riverside at 23rd for $6,079 annually, Anaheim at 38th for $5,200 and Santa Ana at 80th for almost $4,000.

Texas’ cities generally had the least expensive commutes out the 100 locations studied, with three of its cities featured on the bottom five listings. A combination of a lower median income and shorter commute compared to California cities gave most of its cities a lower cost, with Lubbock commuters losing only $2,736 annually.

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