Summary of Commuting Patterns

Coauthors:            Paul Coomes, Ph.D. Economics and Eric Schansberg, Ph.D. Economics

As requested, we have examined the most recent data on cross-river commuting in the Louisville region and made some simple estimates of the potential annual toll costs for residents, assuming the latest toll rates proposed by the bridges authority. The primary findings are:

  1. As of 2010, there are about 35,000 Indiana residents commuting to work in Kentucky and there are about 12,500 Kentucky residents commuting to work in southern Indiana. The commuting flows have been fairly constant over the last decade.
  2. Jefferson County KY is by far the most important cross-river work destination for Indiana commuters, accounting for 94 percent of the total southbound flow.
  3. A significant portion of the current cross-river commuters will continue to use untolled bridges after the two new tolled bridges are built. The Sherman Minton I-64 bridge and the highway bridges at Madison IN and Brandenburg KY will remain the most convenient ways to get to work for those living or working near them. Workers in Floyd County IN who will have a close choice between an untolled I-64 bridge or a tolled I-65 bridge will likely take the free alternative.
  4. It appears that the primary source of tolls from commuters will be from residents of Clark and Scott counties in Indiana, and from Kentucky residents working in Clark and Scott counties. Assuming a $1 toll each way, we estimate that Indiana commuters will pay $8.6 million and Kentucky commuters $3.6 million, per year in tolls.
  5. We also estimate that there are about 20,000 Kentucky residents, those living in the eastern corridors of the Louisville area, who work in downtown Louisville. These commuters will benefit from the enhanced mobility of a rebuilt Spaghetti Junction, but will not be tolled.

A FULL COPY OF THIS REPORT WITH SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE MEDIA AND ONLINE AT WWW.BRIDGEIMPACTS.COM AFTER THE 9AM PRESS CONFERENCE ON APRIL 5TH AT THE CARNEGIE LIBRARY IN JEFFERSONVILLE, INDIANA