Commuting

Employment distribution and commuting patterns in the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) region provide insight into the economic and transportation profile of the region. Data from the Census OnTheMap tool were used to calculate the average total number of jobs located in each county in the region for the period from 2010 to 2014. OnTheMap provides commuting origin and destination employment flow data within each county, and between counties. The three largest flows for each county are shown on this page. Bernalillo County contains the majority (87 percent) of jobs within the four-county area and serves as a major destination for work commutes. Over 92,000 jobs in Bernalillo County are held by workers who commute from surrounding Sandoval, Santa Fe, Torrance, and Valencia counties, or from elsewhere.

Bernalillo County Workers

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, OnTheMap Origin-Destination Data Tool.
Worker Origin
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Average
Total All Jobs
312,307 318,558 325,388 327,121 326,881 322,051
From Bernalillo County
224,024 228,327 231,625 232,002 233,770 229,950
From Sandoval County
31,676 31,793 32,709 32,265 32,752 32,239
From Valencia County
14,685 13,782 14,231 14,307 14,311 14,263
From All Other Locations
41,922 44,656 46,823 48,547 46,048 45,599
Bernalillo County Workers

Sandoval County Workers

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, OnTheMap Origin-Destination Data Tool.
Worker Origin
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Average
Total All Jobs
28,665 30,779 32,433 32,085 28,630 30,518
From Sandoval County
13,777 13,529 14,005 13,879 12,161 13,470
From Bernalillo County
11,342 12,192 12,842 12,661 11,293 12,066
From Santa Fe County
763 891 1,003 962 998 923
From All Other Locations
2,793 4,167 4,583 4,583 4,178 4,059
Sandoval County Workers

Torrance County Workers

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, OnTheMap Origin-Destination Data Tool.
Worker Origin
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Average
Total All Jobs
3,024 3,115 2,248 2,671 2,834 2,717
From Torrance County
1,665 816 477 604 807 676
From Bernalillo County
410 550 368 558 567 511
From Santa Fe County
474 430 247 387 466 383
From All Other Locations
475 1,319 1,156 1,122 994 1,148
Torrance County Workers

Valencia County

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, OnTheMap Origin-Destination Data Tool.
Worker Origin
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Average
Total All Jobs
15,007 14,968 13,344 13,073 13,644 14,007
From Valencia County
7,639 7,011 6,747 6,477 6,874 6,950
From Bernalillo County
3,345 3,321 2,795 2,698 3,050 3,042
From Sandoval County
744 849 809 714 729 769
From All Other Locations
3,279 3,787 2,993 3,184 2,991 3,247
Valencia County Workers

Other Charts

Chart 5 shows that average travel times to work (commute times) have remained relatively stable since 2000 in the Central New Mexico Region. Contributing factors likely include a more dispersed jobs base; flexible and part-time work schedules; transportation network improvements; and an increase in home-based workers.

Mean Travel Time to Work

Mean Travel Time to Work Chart

Data about mode of transportation show that the percentage of home-based workers in the region was 4.4 percent in the 5-year period from 2010 to 2014, up from 4.2 percent during the 5-year period from 2005 to 2009. A similar trend was observed at the national level; the number of home-based workers increased from 4.0 percent to 4.4 percent. This trend can be explained by faster internet speeds, the prevalence of mobile communication technologies, and a rise in company policies that allow people to work from home. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that people who are self-employed, and people who have attained higher levels of education, are more likely to work from home.

Mode of Transportation to Work in New Mexico and the United States

Mode of Transportation Chart

In recent years (2010 to 2014), a smaller percentage of commuters carpooled to work, but a larger percentage walked or used another mode, such as bicycling or public transportation. Commuters in Central New Mexico are more likely to travel to work in a private automobile and less likely to take public transportation, when compared to national averages. But public transportation has become a more prominent mode in the region with the addition of the Rail Runner Express Commuter train line and ABQ RIDE Rapid Ride bus routes. During the 5-year period from 2010 to 2014, 1.8 percent of workers used public transportation, which was up from 1.5 percent during the 5-year period from 2005 to 2009. Historical public transportation ridership data are shown in Chart 7. Total ridership in the region more than doubled between fiscal years 2004 and 2014. The average passenger trip length on board the Rail Runner is 43.9 miles, much longer than the ABQ RIDE average of 3.3 miles. In 2012, MRCOG conducted an on-board survey of passengers on Rail Runner trains and ABQ RIDE buses. While more than nine out of ten passengers listed their “home” as either the trip origin or destination, more than one-third of passengers listed their “workplace.”

Annual ABQ RIDE, Rapid Ride & New Mexico Rail Runner Express Ridership

Annual ABQ Ride Chart