Work commute

Expanding transit systems and access to transit through more integrated and walkable land use and development can provide more efficient and affordable travel choices for residents, workers and visitors. Equal viability for non-single occupancy vehicle (SOV) modes of travel – such as walking, biking and transit – are important for the workforce to access job opportunities, as well as for health, quality of life and safety.


Non-SOV work commute
in Clark County in 2017


Non-SOV work commute 
in Nevada in 2017


Non-SOV work commute
in the U.S. in 2017

Non-SOV work commuting still lagging in Southern Nevada

In 2017, 21.1 percent of trips to work in Southern Nevada occurred via modes other than driving alone in a single-occupancy vehicle (SOV), more than 10 percent (and 2.5 percentage points) lower than the national average. While non-SOV work travel in the region did increase slightly from 2016 to 2017, it remains below the 2012 level of 21.5 percent.

Non-SOV modes include: Public transportation, carpooling, walking, bicycling, working from home, and other means such as by taxi or motorcycle.

Locally, the percentage of most non-SOV modes either held steady or decreased since 2012 (see chart at right). Telecommuting, however, was the exception, consistently increasing since 2012. The percentage of the Southern Nevadans who worked from home increased approximately 30 percent between 2012 and 2017, though telecommuting still only makes up 4.3 percent of all work commutes in the region.

* = Work from home (telecommuting); taxi; motorcycle; and other means

Bicycling to work remains among the least common ways Southern Nevadans regularly commute to work (never surpassing half a percent between 2012 and 2017). However, the region has taken steps to increase its viability in recent years. Since 2013, more than 150 miles of bike facilities (i.e., bike lanes, paved paths, and shared roadways) have been added to the urbanized region of Southern Nevada. In total, the region now has more than 1,000 miles of bike facilities. The map below includes an inventory of the bicycle facilities and amenities in the region.

Click the top-right buttons to view the map legend and the list of map layers.

Source: Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada

About the data

Commuting refers to a worker’s travel from home to work. Several U.S. Census Bureau surveys, including the American Community Survey (ACS), include questions about the working population’s commutes. Here you will find additional information on commuting data from the Census Bureau.

The ACS questions related to travel focus solely on commuting and do not ask about nonwork travel. Respondents answer questions about where they work, what time they leave home for work, the means of transportation used to get there, the number of workers riding in a car, truck, or van, and how long it takes to travel to work. The ACS includes a question about travel mode, or means of transportation to work. Respondents are asked “How did the person usually get to work last week?” Although commutes may involve multiple transportation modes (e.g., driving to a train station and then taking a train), respondents are restricted to indicating the single method of transportation used for the longest distance. If the respondent commuted in a car, truck, or van, the number of persons in vehicle is asked to determine whether the commuter drove alone or carpooled.

The American Community Survey (ACS), administered by the Census Bureau, offers comprehensive information on social, economic, and housing characteristics and because of its large sample size – about 2.9 million addresses per year – the ACS is useful for subnational analyses, serving as the best source for survey-based state level income and poverty estimates. The ACS provides single-year estimates of income and poverty for all places, counties, and metropolitan areas with a population of at least 65,000 as well as the nation and the states, and provides estimates for all geographies, including census tracts and block groups using data pooled over a five-year period. Both single and five-year estimates are updated every year.

To learn more about housing in Southern Nevada or for additional information on the data presented above, contact Southern Nevada Strong.

Last updated: April 2019