Americans have saved nearly $91 billion working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study by economist Adam Ozimek of Upwork.
The analysis estimated that cutting daily commutes out of the equation has saved Americans about $758 million a day in time and expense since the pandemic began.
Estimating $12.50 an hour for the time spent in transit, Americans, have saved about $411 million a day by staying home instead of driving to work, according to Bloomberg News. Ozimek estimated another $183 million a day in savings from fewer trips to gas stations or mechanics.
Fewer accidents and reduced pollution saved commuters a further $164 million, according to the research.
Ozimek consulted several economic studies, including a 2019 AAA analysis of commuting costs, for the research. He told Bloomberg that each commuter who has worked remotely since mid-March has saved an average of $2,000 thus far.
In cities like New York and Washington, D.C., he added, commuters are saving more than than 70 minutes per day.
Despite the commuter savings, reduced use during the pandemic may also be risking transportation infrastructure.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) warned earlier this week that without federal aid, it will be forced to make service and job cuts. MTA Chairman Pat Foye told state lawmakers that ridership remains at 25 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
"Expenses cannot be reduced quickly and significantly enough to offset the 40 percent reduction in revenue we have experienced and are expecting," the MTA said in a statement.