Boston-area drivers spent, on average, 164 hours caught in traffic in 2018 according to traffic data firm INRIX, equivalent to a whole month of workdays.

Did you drive to work in Greater Boston this morning? Congratulations: You took one of the most expensive such trips in the country.

Boston is the fifth-most expensive metro area in the country in which to commute by car, according to a new analysis by real estate referral service Clever. The company analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Transportation and gas price tracking firm Gas Buddy to tabulate the most expensive commutes out of the nation’s 50 biggest metro areas.

The analysis calculated the average amounts commuters spend on gas and car maintenance per year, and added that to the opportunity cost of the commute – the average time spent commuting each year multiplied by the average hourly wage – to find the average cost of commuting in each region.

Despite cheaper gas prices and relatively short commute distances, both of which which keep gas and maintenance costs down, Boston shot up near the top of Clever’s list thanks to the amount of time the region spends in traffic. In fact, the area has the 14th-longest average commute time among all the regions Clever surveyed. Combined with Greater Boston’s relatively high average hourly wages, commuters lose $9,716.26 on average as they trek to and from work each year, Clever found, or $8,605.87 when gas and maintenance are taken out of the equation. That’s over $1,000 more than commuting costs residents of famously car-dependent Los Angeles, who lose a mere $8,650.72.

The only metro areas that beat out Boston for the most expensive commute are familiar from lists of highest rents and home prices: Washington, D.C.; San Jose, California; San Francisco; New York City; and Seattle.

It adds up to a picture familiar to many area drivers: roads that are too clogged with people driving alone to move smoothly, a public transit system that isn’t good enough to draw more residents off the roads and onto trains and buses and homes whose prices that shoot higher and higher the closer they are to the region’s biggest job center in downtown Boston and Kendall Square.

Why Does Boston Have the Fifth-Most Expensive Commute in the Country?

by James Sanna time to read: 1 min