Results of Data Collection Campaign on the Costs of Commuting

We recently conducted a campaign to collect user-generated data from our Salary Comparison tool.  We received data from 64 unique users - duplicates and erroneous entries were eliminated (like those that entered that they commute 8 days a week! Come on, people, you aren’t The Beatles!), and the results are quite interesting! Thanks to everyone who tried out the calculator and helping us better understand what the economic impacts of commuting are on the average worker!
Here is a summary of the results:
Of the sample, commuters travel over the hill between 2 and 5 days per week, with the average commute days coming out to 4.78 days, and about 81% of the sample commuting the full 5 days a week. So most people are doing this every day.
In terms of commute time (the amount of time folks spend in the car each day to get to work and arrive home again), respondents spend between a quarter of an hour (to drive 10 miles) and 5 hours (to drive 100 miles) a day. The average commute time was two hours and 22 minutes long – this translates to an average of 545 hours in the car every year! 72% of respondents drive two or more hours per day to get to work and return home.
The range of distances driven per commute was 10-150 miles, with the average commute coming in at 70.5 miles.
After taking into the cost of time spent commuting and mileage costs, and comparing those with local costs, we found that 58% of the sample would save between $248 and $8897 per year by working locally – even on a lower local salary (91% of what they are paid over the hill)! This, combined with being able to spend more time at home, with your family, doing the things you love doing in Santa Cruz, make a strong case that it just makes more sense to work where you live.