How Well Does Mass Transit Serve America's Jobs?
For those seeking to reduce the amount of solo drivers comprising America's commuters (74%) in order to improve congestion, livability, and environmental impacts, a new Brookings Institution report that found more than 75% of all jobs in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas are located in neighborhoods with transit service will come as welcome news. Unfortunately, due to the suburbanization of jobs and homes, only about 27% of employees are able to get to their jobs in less than 90 minutes via mass transit.
Summarizing the report's findings, Dougherty writes: "On average, the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas have 63% of their jobs - 64.6 million total positions - located outside the central city. And while most of those jobs are in near some sort of bus or rail line, the patchwork of suburban transportation systems makes it hard for their workers - most of which also live in the suburbs - to get there without driving."
The report, which ranks the nation's metro areas by overall worker access to transit, found that "the metropolitan areas with the best labor access rate [Salt Lake City, San Jose, Honolulu, etc.]...are places with the best suburban transportation networks."
So how can these barriers to employee transit access be overcome? The report advises that, "As metro leaders continue to grapple with limited financial resources, it is critical for transit investment decisions to simultaneously address suburban coverage gaps as well as disconnected neighborhoods."