By bringing together the two demographic factors of population (where people live) and employment (where people work), transportation planners can begin to understand the commuting needs that exist throughout the region. Historically, workers within the eight counties of the OKI region have shown varying commuting patterns. The major change has been the significant increases in work from home. In 2020, 14% of the Region’s workers worked from home most of the time. Prior to the pandemic on average, only 5% of the Region’s workers worked from home most of the time.

Commuting Destination by County

For some time, commuting patterns in the OKI Region have been relatively stable. Between 2010 and 2020, commuters from Hamilton, Campbell, Kenton, Clermont, and Dearborn counties have been more likely to travel outside of their own county for work while Boone and Warren counties have seen an increase in those traveling within the county for work. Today, Hamilton is where commuters are most likely to stay in their county of residence for work (66% in 2020), while Campbell County continues to have the most commuters to other counties (21% in 2020) — with 31% of commuters traveling across the river to jobs in Hamilton County. The following pie charts show the commuting breakdown for each county in the OKI Region for 2020.

Commute Transportation Mode

Within the OKI region, 78.6% of the population drive alone to work — a figure that is down from 86% at the beginning of the decade. Region-wide, 7.6% of the population carpool and 1.5% use public transit. However, these numbers vary by county. In Hamilton County, only 75.4% of the population drives alone to work, while 2.9% of the population commutes by public transit. On the other hand, in Warren County, 80.1% of the population drives alone to work. Dearborn County residents have the longest mean travel time to work at 29.6 minutes, while Kenton County residents have the shortest average commute at 23.3 minutes.

72% of the OKI Region’s commuters drove alone to work in 2020. Commuting patterns and preferences vary based on Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Disability Status. The following charts illustrate the differences.

In 2021, Other Races were the least likely to commute alone in a personal vehicle at 65.5%, while White commuters were the most likely to commute alone in a personal vehicle at 80.3%.

Other Races were also the most likely to carpool at 16%, while White commuters were the least likely to carpool at 6.9%.

Black commuters were the most likely to use public transit at 11.2%, while White commuters were the least likely to use public transit at 0.6%.

Asian commuters were the most likely to walk to work at 3.1%, while White commuters were the least likely to walk at 1.6%

Asian workers were the most likely to work from home most of the time at 12.5%, while Black workers were the least likely to work from home the majority of the time at just 6.4%.

Hispanic commuters were twice as likely as Non-Hispanic commuters to carpool (15.5% vs 7.6%). Hispanic commuters are also less likely to drive a personal vehicle alone or work from home compared to Non-Hispanic commuters.

Low Income Commuters

Low Income Commuters (those at or below the Poverty line) take alternative transportation modes more often than those not in poverty. Only 64.1% of low income commuters drove alone to work versus 79.9% of commuters not in poverty. Low income commuters were almost twice as likely to carpool (13.3% vs 7%), almost three times as likely to take a taxi or rideshare service (2.5% vs 0.9%), over five times as likely to take public transit (6% vs 1.1%) and over six times as likely to walk to work (7.9% vs 1.2%).

Disabled Commuters

Data for commuters with a disability was only available at the Metropolitan Statistical Area for the Cincinnati region, but found that 12.9% of workers with a disability worked from home. While fewer drive alone to work than the general population (70.6% vs 78.6%), they were more likely to take alternative modes of transportation with the next likely mode being carpooling at 9.7%.

Environmental Justice Groups

The concept of Environmental Justice (EJ) is rooted in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discriminatory practices in programs and activities receiving federal funds. Issued in October 1993, Transportation planning regulations require that metropolitan planning processes be consistent with Title VI. In February 1994, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order which amplified the provisions of Title VI by requiring federal agencies to make “achieving environmental justice part of its mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies and activities on minority and low income populations” (Executive Order 12898:  Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low Income Populations).

In compliance with this directive, OKI incorporated EJ evaluation into its planning process. Specific groups in the OKI region identified for EJ evaluation include the elderly, minority population, people with disabilities, population in poverty and zero car households.

EJ Group Definitions

Elderly: Persons aged 65 or older
Minority Population: Persons from every racial category except White Alone plus all Hispanic persons
People with Disabilities: Non-institutionalized persons with any disability
Population in Poverty: Persons below the poverty level
Zero Car Households: Occupied housing units for which no car is available

EJ Concentrations

Concentrations of EJ groups within the OKI region were identified by establishing thresholds equal to the regional averages for the various target populations according to Five Year American Community Survey 2013 to 2017 data.

OKI classified geographic areas equaling or exceeding the threshold values by 50% of the regional average as target zones for impact assessment purposes. Block groups or tracts were used as the basis for these geographic areas, depending on the variable and availability of data. Maps of these geographic areas and how they related to projects in the plan can be found in the Impacts section.


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