How much is your commute costing you?

different modes of transport used for the commute to work in australia like bus train car

Returning to the office has had a major impact on the wallets of Aussies in more than one way. The cost of commuting is one of those things we tend to absorb and deal with as a reality of everyday life, but how much exactly is the commute costing you?

With information from the Real Australian Commute Report 2022, we can see a breakdown of the rising cost of commuting throughout Australia. We took a deep dive into the stats to figure out the real hit your wallet is taking.

What does it cost to get to work?

The cost of a commute differs dramatically from state to state, and can be very different outside of capital cities.

StateDaily Commute Costs (Capital City)Daily Commute Costs (Rest of State)Annual Commute Costs (Capital City)Annual Commute Costs (Rest of State)

The Northern Territory has the cheapest commutes by a long shot, though this will come down to a lower percentage of the population working in metropolitan centres. 

The most expensive areas for commuters are NSW (consistently, across both Sydney and the rest of the state), as well as the ACT outside of Canberra, SA outside of Adelaide, and the cities of Hobart and Melbourne.

A lot of these costs are ones we relate to public transport (tapping onto buses and trains, for example), but costs are rising for private commuters as well. Petrol is more expensive than ever, with the government having cut the subsidy on fuel, and ongoing geopolitical unrest. Tolls also apply pressure, with 55% of people surveyed saying that paying them is an unsustainable choice as petrol prices rise.

Commute costs aren’t just monetary. When you head to work, there’s a considerable investment of time. Commutes tend to take longer in capital cities than the rest of the state, due to a combination of factors like traffic, centralised business, and congestion.

StateDaily Commute Time in Minutes (Capital Cities)Daily Commute Time in Minutes (Rest of State)

If commuters are travelling by public transport, 87% of the people surveyed mention wishing their fellow commuters had better manners (perhaps covering their mouths when they cough?) and 83% wish commuters were friendlier to each other. A desire for better conduct isn’t restricted to public transport users - 9 in 10 drivers wish other people on the road knew the road rules better, and 85% surveyed called out other drivers as unsafe and impolite. 

Money, time, and stress - the costs can add up quickly!

Keeping commute costs down

With working from home becoming costly in other ways - energy bills, anyone? - and completely off the table for many, we are all looking into ways that we can minimise commuter costs.

For some, this is as simple as switching from regular rideshare use to getting used to public transport more often. For others, looking for commuter savings involves a little bit more hunting.

Here are some tips we’ve been using to keep costs down:

  • Compare trips beforehand - Being prepared is always a good idea, and when it comes to commuting, it can help you save time and money. Using apps like Tripview and Google Maps, you can plan your journey and work out how many transfers you’ll be taking, how much time it will take, and how much things will cost.
  • Consider other ways of getting to work - Work nearby to an office with nice bathroom facilities? Do double duty and team up your commute with your workout, biking, running or walking to work. Alternatively, save on fuel and fill up a carpool!
  • Travel off peak - If you have a bit of flexibility in your schedule, you can save a bit of cash by travelling during off-peak times. Not only is it a time-saver, but it also tends to mean cheaper fares and sometimes lower toll prices.

The commute is just one element of rising everyday prices - keep updated with our cost of living hub.