Which Onondaga County community's residents have the longest commute?

Jan 20, 2015

More than two-thirds of residents in Onondaga County live in one community and commute to another one to work each day.

The town of Otisco has the most mobile residents. Eighty-nine percent -- 89.3 percent, to be exact -- of them work in a different town. They also have the longest commute from their homes in the southwest corner of the county, at 29 minutes.

Spafford residents were a close second, with 88.8 percent of them also driving an average 29 minutes each morning and evening.

Only Syracuse has more residents that stay within the borders for work and living, which makes sense with the city being the county’s hub of economic activity. Only 36.5 percent of city residents work outside of Syracuse.

Joseph Stefko from the Center for Government Research says the high mobility of people shows that Onondaga County is really one big economic vehicle.

"We don’t exist town by town, or village by village or the city in isolation of one another," he said. "We’re routinely crossing over these boundaries, whether we like it or not." 

Dr. Joseph Stefko from the Center for Governmental Research.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Stefko was hired by Consensus, a commission looking at ways to consolidate government services within Onondaga County and its 36 municipal governments. The group just released its baseline report. 

The county-wide average for commuting to a different town or village -- or city -- for work is 69 percent, with a typical commute being 19 minutes. Stefko used Census survey data to compile the results.

Each of the three dozen towns and villages has its own highway and public works department maintaining the roads so many residents commute long distances on, which could be one area for possible consolidation when the commission’s work moves to the next phase.

Here are some more town and village commuting figures (percent of residents working in a different community and their average drive):

  • Town of Camillus: 83.9 percent; 19 minutes
  • Village of East Syracuse: 83.9 percent; 17 minutes
  • Village of Baldwinsville: 81.8 percent; 23 minutes
  • Town of Lafayette: 81.8 percent; 21 minutes
  • Town of Cicero: 80.6 percent; 19 minutes
  • Town of Tully: 78.6 percent; 23 minutes
  • Town of Manlius: 76.6 percent; 19 minutes
  • Village of Fayetteville: 74.5 percent; 19 minutes
  • Village of Liverpool: 72.3 percent; 17 minutes
  • Town of DeWitt: 68.1 percent; 15 minutes
  • Village of East Syracuse: 57.4 percent; 16 minutes
  • City of Syracuse: 36.5 percent; 17 minutes