Thursday, May 12, 2011

Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America

From Brookings

Public transit is a critical part of the economic and social fabric of metropolitan areas. Nearly 30 million trips are made every day using public transit. Almost all of these trips occur in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, which account for over 95 percent of all transit passenger miles traveled. People take transit for any number of reasons, but one of the most common is to get to work.

However, when it comes to the question of how effectively transit connects people and jobs within and across these metropolitan areas, strikingly little is known. With governments at all levels considering deep budget cuts, it is increasingly important to understand not just the location and frequency of transit service, but ultimately how well transit aligns with where people work and live. To better understand these issues, the Metropolitan Policy Program developed a comprehensive database that provides the first comparable, detailed look at transit coverage and connectivity across and within the nation’s major metro areas.

From the Times Union article re the topic, No charm, but effective: A new study ranks Capital Region's transport system 29th in the nation in connecting people to their jobs:

A Brookings Institution report gives the Capital Region a relatively strong ranking for access to public transportation, when measured against the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. Here's how the region compares to nearby areas in two key measurements.

Area/% of jobs within Overall 45 min. of home/Average wait rank

Capital Region 10.8% 14.3 minutes 29

New York City 9.8% 4.5 minutes 13

Syracuse 12.3% 17.4 minutes 30

Springfield, Mass. 7.6% 21.1 minutes 44

Poughkeepsie 2.8% 51 minutes 100

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