Dear Mayor Kou and council members,
I am writing to follow up on my public comment at the ECR teacher housing project prescreen last Monday.
I did some research and made some assumptions to illustrate the commute cost and value of time saved by eliminating the need for a long commute.
While I did these in the context of council discussion of the teacher housing proposal, the findings are applicable more broadly to situations where housing can reduce the need for long commutes.
I made these assumptions
--the costs of a mile of travel are 65.5 cents (the 2023 IRS mileage allowance)
--the gasoline portion of these costs was calculated using $5/gallon and 20 miles/gallon
--tolls where applicable are $7/day
--the value of time saved is $20/hour or 50% of a $40/hour salary (50% is the low end of the research and state and federal DOT suggestions)
I looked at a 50 mile trip taking one hour (actual times according to Google Map are usually longer) and assumed that there were 17 weekday commutes a month to make allowance for holiday and personal days off.
For example, the time from Gilroy (50 miles to PA) was 77 minutes at 6:30 on a Monday morning but 97 minutes when there was an accident.
These are all rough estimates and I will update as new information becomes available.
The results are
--$65.50 a day per IRS mileage allowance is $1,114 per month
--the gasoline portion is $425 per month and if tolls are needed that adds $119 a month
--the value of time saved is $680 a month
These are substantial savings in addition to avoiding the stress of long commutes and can explain why higher rents can seem and actually be a financially good deal for some individuals.
This is the reverse case of what we know is true--that many workers will take a reduction in pay to avoid commuting and be able to work from home.
I am happy to discuss and answer any questions.