DENVER (KDVR) — Nothing says a Denver commute like hitting 10 red lights for a drive that was supposed to take 10 minutes or constant braking on Interstate 25 by Empower Field. Waiting in traffic may cost more than just your patience.
A new study shows that Coloradans lose $6,740.21 a year from sitting in Denver traffic.
Most Coloradans in Denver get to work within 25 minutes. Roundtrip, the drive time is less than an hour. But when it comes to the daily commute cost, it tallies to about $26 a day, according to the study. This is lower than full-time workers’ median hourly earnings, but just like Starbucks coffee, it adds up.
If you’re earning a Denver median wage, which is about $66,000, and spending 25 minutes sitting through traffic, expect 10% of your yearly paycheck to disappear.
To make your commute less fun than it already is, for comparison, this would be around three months of rent in Denver for a two-person apartment. You could also buy a used car with the money you saved not driving to work. Or book a roundtrip to Europe — seven times.
Denver’s commute costs are higher than the national average, which is less than $6,000. Nationwide, it usually costs commuters $22.11 a day.
However, compared to 170 other cities across the country, Denver fares pretty well. The Mile High City doesn’t even place in the top 20.
Some cities are double the cost of Denver. San Francisco; Fremont, California; and Washington, D.C. are the most costly commutes, totaling almost $50 a day, which costs from $11,000 to nearly $13,000 a year.
For the rest of August, RTD rides are free, which may be an option because you’re not getting paid to sit in traffic. In fact, you’re paying to sit in traffic.