Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America
place - north america, mode - mass transit
metropolitan, employment, transit
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. Nearly 70 percent of large metropolitan residents live in neighborhoods with access to transit service of some kind.In neighborhoods covered by transit, morning rush hour service occurs about once every 10 minutes for the typical metropolitan commuter. The typical metropolitan resident can reach about 30 percent of jobs in their metropolitan area via transit in 90 minutes. About one-quarter of jobs in low- and middle-skill industries are accessible via transit within 90 minutes for the typical metropolitan commuter, compared to one-third of jobs in high-skill industries.
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Tomer, A., Kneebone, E., Puentes, R., & Berube, A. (2011). Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America. Report produced by Brookings, 64 pp.