When you put the key in the ignition before heading to work, you don’t always think about the costs of getting there.

In California, those costs are substantial. Angelenos often have the highest gas prices in the nation. You have to pay for your precious car. And you have to maintain it, which can be an extra burden in a city with some of America’s worst roads.

Citi ThankYou Premier’s new Commuter Survey, a look at commuter costs and times in some of America’s biggest cities, says Angelenos spend an average of $3,640 a year getting to and from work.

That’s a whopping 40 percent more than what the average American commuter spends, according to the report.

Wakefield Research surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults, ages 35 to 54, online last month for Citi ThankYou Premier. Another 500 adults of that age range in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and San Francisco were queried for the report.

The survey found that L.A drivers spend 238 hours a year behind the wheel in their quest to get to work and back. Nonetheless, “More than two in three Angelenos said it’s actually the only ‘me’ time they get,” a spokeswoman said.

The daily cost for those rides is $14, Citi ThankYou Premier said. Our time spent on the road weekdays? Nearly an hour, according to the data.

About 70 percent of us say our commuting costs have increased, and 80 percent of us blame the price of gas, the survey found.

More than eight out of 10 L.A. respondents said they used their own cars to get to work, according to Citi ThankYou Premier. That overlapped with nearly one in four who used the bus, 15 percent who used a train, and 1 in 10 who used a subway, according to the survey.

Fifty-nine percent of Angeleno commuters said they’d get to work by bicycle if a bike-share program was available in their neighborhood.

Nearly one-third (31 percent) of L.A. respondents said they view their commutes as “a time to be productive,” according to a Citi ThankYou Premier statement.

Still, 93 percent of us would like our commutes “to be more pleasant,” Citi ThankYou Premier said. Of course we would.

Source: LA Weekly