Rise of Reverse Commuting Challenges Transportation Planners

With urban populations growing, an interesting phenomenon is spreading in cities across the U.S. - the rise of the (often congested) reverse commute. It brings with it new challenges, like how to provide transit riders with last mile connections.

"Over the past couple of decades, suburban job growth has exploded, but in recent years, there's also been a renaissance in urban living, especially among young professionals. The result: In some cities, traffic on the reverse commute is as congested as or worse than traffic going into the city," reports David Schaper in the latest piece in NPR's special series on U.S. commutes. 

In Chicago, this has resulted in "surging population growth" along rail lines, "especially those leading to the suburbs," he adds. 

"'It's an opportunity, but it also presents a big challenge for the transit market,' says Leanne Redden, who oversees planning for the Regional Transportation Authority of Chicago. Redden says the challenge is getting reverse commuters the last couple of miles from suburban stations to the sprawling corporate campuses and office parks along the highways."

Shuttle buses, van pools, and car and bike sharing are among the solutions being put forth for making the "last mile" connection. 

Full Story: Reverse Commutes Now Often A Daily Slog, Too


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