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It Costs $635 a Month to Shave 7 Minutes Off an LA Commute

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No one wants to start their day (or end it) by crawling through traffic on one of Los Angeles's many freeways, but a longer commute might, duh, be saving you money, and vice versa—ponying up for a shorter one will cost on average $600 more a month. At least, that's what rental site HotPads found when they looked into the difference in rents paid by people with shorter average commutes and longer average commutes. In zip codes with the shortest average commute times, HotPads found a median average rent of $2,098 and a commute of 23.2 minutes. LA pays the highest short-commute premium of the 11 cities they looked at.

In zip codes with the longest average treks to work, median average rent was $1,462.50 and the commute was 30 minutes. That's about $635 more to shave less than seven minutes off a drive. Ouch. HotPads put all the info they used into a navigable map, with blue showing shortest average commute zip codes and yellow showing those with the longest.

To get their results, HotPads first "compared zip codes with the 25 percent shortest one-way commutes against zip codes with the 25 percent longest one-way commutes," according to census data from the 2012 5-Year American Community Survey. Then, they added in the median rental price for those areas. Holding the results for each group up to each other, HotPads' data found that "renters in Los Angeles pay one of the biggest differences, more than $600, more in rent for an average one-way commute savings of just under 7 minutes."

· How Length of Commute Affects Rental Prices [HotPads]
· Mapping the Average Commute Time From Every Part of LA [Curbed LA]