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The Rush Hour Dash

Ellen Cushing | October 30, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

This is part of "Live Large, Spend Less," a comprehensive guide to surviving (and even flourishing) in America's most expensive city. See all of the stories here.

The true cost of getting around isn’t measured in dollars alone—if it were, we’d all simply save our money by walking everywhere. To understand the real calculus of a commute, you need to also price out the cost of an average San Franciscan’s time. According to our admittedly simplistic formula (the citywide per capita income for San Francisco, spread over a 40-hour-per-week, 50-week year), that turns out to be 39.3 cents per minute.

With the time-is-money clock ticking, we sent a gaggle of San Francisco staffers out on a race from our North Beach offices to a Hayes Valley bar during rush hour—5 p.m. on a foggy Thursday—to see where eight methods of transportation rank in terms of both time-money and money-money.

Bay Area Bike Share
Cost: $9
Time: 18 minutes
Total: $16.07

Cost: $1.85
Time: 37 minutes
Total: $16.39

Uber Pool
Cost: $6.32
Time: 33 minutes
Total: $19.29

Cost: $2.25
Time: 45 minutes
Total: $19.94

Uber X
Cost: $12.41
Time: 26 minutes
Total: $22.63

Lyft Line
Cost: $10
Time: 34 minutes
Total: $23.36

Yellow Cab
Cost: $17.25
Time: 36 minutes
Total: $31.40

Cost: $22
Time: 24 minutes
Total: $31.43

Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco

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