Living where you work
May 14, 2002
One thing leaps out on close examination of the car pool data released by the U.S. Census Bureau: Geography.
Storey County, which has the lowest percentage of carpoolers also has the longest commute. That’s because few of the people who live in Storey County work there.
One look at the other extreme, Mineral County, proves the point.
People who live in Hawthorne, work there. That is why Mineral County residents have the lowest commute time and the highest percentage of carpoolers. Hawthorne residents who work outside of Mineral County would be better off moving than making the hour-long commute to the next employment center.
Carson City residents have the second lowest commute time in the state, thanks again to geography.
Carson workers are well within the 17.7 minutes of their major employment center.
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The fact is few people in Nevada actually work in the town they live in.
For the larger counties, like Clark, where Las Vegas residents live in a city of 113 square miles, the commute time is slowed by traffic. However, it is easy to live in the Las Vegas Valley and still have a 20 minute ride across town.
The same can be said for Douglas County where Genoa is a 12 minute car ride from Gardnerville.
But the average commute for a Douglas County resident is only 23.5 minutes.
Pity the poor Lyon County residents, whose average commute of 28 minutes is the third longest in the state.
Throw in Nevada’s 24-hour work schedule and not only do carpoolers have to deal with space, but time as well. Neighbors or relatives in Douglas County are likely to have two different destinations or schedules.
Western Nevada is a big place but Nevadans are willing to make the sacrifice that comes with long commutes and high gas prices in order to live where they want.
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