Commuting to work is an alien concept to most Sarnians, with 80% of residents living and working within city limits, a recent report has found.
But if you live in any of Lambton County’s other municipalities there’s a good change you drive to the job, according to the Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board study.
“Access to transportation is necessary for employment for many residents of Lambton County,” said board executive director Shauna Carr. “(Some) 16,570 people commute outside of their community for work, and travel at least 50 kilometres each day to and from work.”
Only one in five working Sarnians has to leave the city, and people living in communities around Sarnia are the most reliant on the city for jobs.
In Point Edward, St. Clair, Plympton-Wyoming, and Aamjiwnaang, at least half of all working residents drive into the city for work.
Seventy-four percent of Point Edwardians commute to Sarnia, according to Statistics Canada data.
Rural areas of Lambton lack inter-city public transit creating an “employment issue” for people who can’t afford their own care or a taxi ride, Carr said.
Most commuters who live outside Sarnia travel either to the city or another community in Lambton County, although a small minority in the southern and eastern end of the county have jobs in London, Strathroy-Caradoc and Chatham-Kent, the report says.
Only three per cent of employed Sarnians commute to work outside of Lambton County.
Location appears to be the major determinant, with the highest percentage of workers travelling to Sarnia coming from communities closest to the city.
Meanwhile, workers in far-flung municipalities such as Brooke-Alvinston, Enniskillen, Dawn-Euphemia, and Warwick are more likely to be employed in other local rural communities than in Sarnia.
“Rural, small municipalities within Lambton County aren’t all dependent on Sarnia for jobs for their residents,” Carr said. “Rather, the municipalities are interdependent on each other for jobs for their residents.”