New York Commuters Who Use Uber Could Save Money

Studies
New York Commuters Who Use Uber Could Save Money

Riding New York City’s iconic subway isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a commuter who owns a car and drives to work instead of using public transit, an analysis of costs found that you may want to consider using Uber instead.

The NerdWallet data analysis looked at the nation’s 20 most populous metro areas and found the cheaper commute between driving and owning a personal vehicle or using Uber. In the New York area, Uber is the thriftier choice, as it also is in seven other U.S. metro areas — possibly another reason for city drivers to ditch their wheels.

Using the New York metro area’s typical commute distance of 7.7 miles and taking into consideration weekly costs such as gas, parking, car insurance and vehicle wear and tear, sharing an UberPool ride could save commuters $76 each week, according to the analysis in mid-February.

Other metro areas where using Uber is cheaper include Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The study used UberPool rates when the shared ride was available, and UberX when it wasn’t. The biggest savings from using Uber were found in San Francisco, where commuters could save $83 a week with Uber.

But for commuters in certain other cities, owning and driving your own vehicle was the thriftier choice, and the savings were even greater. In the Phoenix metro area, for example, commuters opting to drive their cars could save $135 a week compared to using Uber.

New Yorkers know owning a vehicle is a costly headache in the city. Here, parking accounted for the largest portion of commute-related costs in the analysis, 67% or $147 a week, which is more than any other metro area in the analysis. Parking alone cost more than an entire week of commuting in New York via Uber, which totaled $142.

Insurance in the Big Apple cost $46 a week and accounted for 21% of driving costs, according to the analysis, compared with the relatively cheap car insurance in the Minneapolis area, which cost just $18 weekly. Maintenance and repairs accounted for 8% of weekly costs, and gas 3% in New York.

Click here to read the full results and complete methodology.

Elizabeth Renter is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: elizabeth@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ElizabethRenter.