Study of Commuter Costs

March 4, 2019
A new Bloomberg study of the most expensive commutes in the nation shows that residents of Charles County, Md., and Fauquier and Stafford Counties in Virginia had some of the highest commuting costs.
Photo: Unsplash/Jomar

A new Bloomberg study of the most expensive commutes in the nation shows that residents of Charles County, Md., and Fauquier and Stafford Counties in Virginia had some of the highest commuting costs.

Those in Charles County spent slightly less than an average 20 and a half weeks traveling to and from work in 2017. The analysis revealed that these residents generally have higher incomes than the regional average. Brad Hansen, an economics professor at University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., tells Fortune, “They find the jobs in D.C. and Northern Virginia more attractive, largely because of higher income, but they find living in places like Stafford, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania more attractive because of lower housing prices or they like living in a less urban area.”

The index scored 800+ counties for the highest cost of commuting based on three metrics: the cost of commuting in equivalent dollar amount, the percentage of income this matches, and the percentage of the workforce that leaves before 6:00 a.m. The three metrics are weighted at 70 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent, respectively.The absolute cost of commuting was calculated by converting total commuter hours into a dollar amount based on the average annual income of a full-time employee in the region. The index does not include ancillary costs for transportation and parking.

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