Cut Back on Commuting Costs with These 4 Tips

Commute Cost

Is your daily commute wearing away at your spirit? How about your wallet?

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, the average American commuting time clocks in at a reasonable 25.5 minutes – but these are the lucky ones. Meanwhile, a whopping 10.8 million people commute an hour or more to work each way, and another 600,000 spend 90 minutes or more traveling to the office.

Time is precious, but as you well know, headaches and boredom aren’t the only costs associated with the daily commute. Getting to work can be expensive, especially if, like most Americans, you drive to work alone each day.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2011 84.4% of U.S. workers got to work via a private vehicle. In suburban or rural areas this is generally the most time efficient way to get to work each day. But between car payments, gas and regular wear and tear on your vehicle, it is also by far one of the priciest ways to get to work. Just how much is it costing you? Use this fuel savings calculator to find out.

If you’re unhappy with the consistent cost of driving to work each and every day, there are plenty of ways to cut back on commuting costs. Here are a few recommendations.


Carpooling is a classic method for chipping away at commuting costs, but statistics show that the percentage of Americans that carpool has fallen steadily over the past 20 years. There is some good news, though. Thanks to the startup boom, carpooling, (or carsharing in 21st century speak) seems to be making a bit of a comeback. Check out these three trendy carsharing services to see how you can save on, or even profit from, your daily driving commute.

Take Public Transit

The same Census Bureau data shows that in 2011, 4.9% of Americans took public transit to work. Not only is it cheaper and more environmentally friendly than taking a car, may companies offer monthly reimbursement for public transportation. Talk to your manager or HR representative for details.

Work At Home

What if you could eliminate your daily commute altogether? As of 2011, 4.2% of Americans worked from home rather than commuting. By working from home, you’ll not only save on driving costs, but you may also become eligible for home office tax deductions, which will save you money in the long run.

Bike To Work

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, in 2011, 777,000 people listed biking as their primary means of traveling to work, which accounts for just 0.56% of US working adults. Depending on where you live, it may or may not be safe or even possible to bike to and from work every day. If you’re interested in jumping on the biking bandwagon, this how to ride your bike to work guide from Mother Nature Network also provides some helpful tips on getting started. And if you’re looking for a bit of coworker support, check out National Bike To Work Day, which lands in May every year.

Back to Top