Morning traffic is costing Aussie workers thousands of dollars each year

Peter Terlato 4 July 2016

traffic sydney australia car

Sydney-siders losing over $3300 a year.

Commuter congestion in Sydney is costing workers almost 6% of their annual salary, more than any other capital city in Australia.

A new research study by Global Positioning Specialists (GPS) revealed time lost in traffic can have a significant financial effect on the earnings of workers operating on hourly contracts.

Of 108 cities around the globe, Sydney ranked in the top 20 for income lost to congestion. Traffic costs commuters up to 5.9% of their annual salary, equal to $3,308 per year.

When compared with the rest of the world, three Australian cities - Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – ranked among the 50 worst cities for earnings lost to peak morning congestion.

CityExtra Time Taken To Travel To Work Per Year (Weeks)Earnings Lost To Congestion Per Year (Net After Tax)% Of Earnings Lost To Congestion Per Year
Sydney3$3308.305.9%
Perth1.8$1910.283.6%
Melbourne2$2158.323.9%
Brisbane2$1950.263.8%
Adelaide1.3$1344.492.6%

The research shows workers in Sydney lost three working weeks' worth of income in 2015. This was more than double the best performing Australian city, Adelaide, where commuters sacrificed 1.3 weeks to bad traffic.

Adelaide workers saw losses of 2.6% per year or $1344 in 2015.

Melbourne (3.9%), Brisbane (3.8%) and Perth (3.6%) commuters lost between $1910 and $2158 each year in traffic.

While not losing as much income as those in Melbourne, Brisbane commuters on average experienced the most amount of time (42.6 minutes) stuck in morning traffic.

In terms of global standings, workers in Mexico City were worst off. Excessive traffic cost commuters 9.7% of their annual salary or 4.88 weeks income each year.

Brazil accounted for 20% of the top 20 cities on the list, while Los Angeles was the only US city to rank in the top 20.

With Opal hacking coming to a halt very soon, how will public transport charges in Sydney change? Use our Opal Fare Calculator to determine how much you will be paying on public transport.

Picture: Baiterek Media / Shutterstock.com

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