Author Topic: Earnings per hour, adjusted for commute distance and mode (walk,bus,card,bike)  (Read 1343 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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It's been shown many times in MMR's posts how big an impact commuting distance can have on your wealth.

I wanted a little more precision on this, as it's a super important insight. I've calculated the time taken to use each transport mode (walk, bike, e-bike, bus, car), plus the cost of that mode for commutes of 1km, 3km, 5km, 10km, 15km, 20km, 30km, 45km, 55km, 65km.

Factoring in commute time and cost of running a vehicle, somebody on $11/hour is only taking home $6/hour if they drive to work 20 miles each way. Obviously the lower the salary, the bigger the commute cost takes a bite out of it.

To see effect on an $11/hour worker go here

I've re-run the numbers for a $35k/year job here.

It would be great if somebody could build a website, where you could punch in a variety of job locations and their salaries. It would then calculate what your effective take home pay would be per hour, once you factor in commute time and cost.

Feedback welcome, I'm sure this can be improved! :)
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 08:46:40 AM by alan2018 »


  • Pencil Stache
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Not a bad idea! Although this type of analysis is complicated because you're holding one thing constant while varying the other thing (housing and commute distance/cost respectively). This problem is not particular to your analysis, so I won't go in to it too much, but (as an advocate of moving closer to work), I'm slightly skeptical of the cost rationale, so I thought I'd bring it up.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Something right away that you need to fix is your labeling. If the numbers in the graph equal the wage, then put a $ to it.  If it's time, then put a hr/min/sec in there. It'll make it easier to follow along. You also need to go into a lot more detail on your math. Why does a 65km commute cost 9.7 hours? Why does that same commute cost $3 a day?  I don't see your methodology anywhere. Have you factored in the difference in fuel prices, traffic congestion, wear and tear costs on the vehicle?  The Department of Transportation puts out average costs of ownership per mile every couple years, but if you want to get any more specific than that you will need to provide for these variables.  A more accurate assessment would be to create a form for someone to fill out where they can input these numbers and it'll spit out an answer for them.  A single graph is a very broad and probably inaccurate way of displaying the information.