How We Get to Work, When We Go to Work


The New York Times asks the question, “What’s the most expensive way to get to work?” and the unsurprising answer is by taxi. Except that leaves out your diamond-encrusted chariot powered by dragons, and/or catching a ride on your Learjet.

More interesting than the revelation that your taxi cash sure adds up — to approximately $4,704 per year — are the other statistical nuggets in the piece.

Of the 4.3 million of us who commute to work every day:

• 37 percent take the subway.

• 11 percent use the bus.

• 9.2 percent walk.

• 4.9 percent carpool.

• 1 percent take taxis.

• 0.6 percent bike.

• 0.2 percent take the ferry.

When the bills are tallied, railroad commuting is the second most expensive method ($2,163/year), followed by driving by car ($1,932) or by motorcycle ($1,449). Annual mass-transit costs are estimated at $965. And the cost of biking, walking, and working from home (3.3 percent) are zero, except for what you inevitably spend at the coffee shop.

Of course, not working at all is actually the most expensive way to commute, but you’ll never get yelled at for missing that 9 a.m. meeting.