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Report: Atlanta drivers spend more money commuting than all other Americans

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ATL commuters beat both Houston and Dallas to take the dubious top spot

Cars filling all lanes of the Downtown Connector.
A light traffic day in the A.
Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, it’s not good to be No. 1.

According to a new report from, Atlanta drivers fork over more money than any other city dwellers in the country when it comes to gas and vehicle maintenance costs associated with commuting, spending an average of $175,104 over the course of a lifetime.

That’s a whopping $66,377 more than the average American will spend.

Atlanta commuters beat out both Houston and Dallas, who took the second and third spots respectively. Houston commuters spend $174,314 on average, while Dallas drivers spend $166,896 during a lifetime. put together an interactive map that includes information for more than 100 major cities. According to the report, of the cities analyzed, Stockton, California, residents spend the least ($105,750 over a lifetime).

For the study, the average lifetime was computed based on starting full-time work at age 18 and using the average retirement age of 63 (based on U.S. Census Bureau data) in the United States. That equates to a total of 45 years working at a full-time job.

The methodology then added up work days/commuting over a career, with about 250 days per year of work, attributing two weeks off per year for vacation and time off. The result? An astounding 11,250 days of work/commuting over the course of a career.

The numbers could encourage Atlanta employers to seriously consider telecommuting. After all, who wouldn’t want to pocket more savings and have the time to enjoy those extra dollars?