Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America
from Brookings Institution (excerpt)
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.
An analysis of data from 371 transit providers in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas reveals that:
Nearly 70 percent of large metropolitan residents live in neighborhoods with access to transit service of some kind. Transit coverage is highest in Western metro areas such as Honolulu and Los Angeles, and lowest in Southern metro areas such as Chattanooga and Greenville. Regardless of region, residents of cities and lower-income neighborhoods have better access to transit than residents of suburbs and middle/higher-income neighborhoods.
The typical metropolitan resident can reach about 30 percent of jobs in their metropolitan area via transit in 90 minutes. Job access differs considerably across metro areas, from 60 percent in Honolulu to just 7 percent in Palm Bay, reflecting variable transit coverage levels and service frequencies, and variable levels of employment and population decentralization. Among very large metro areas, the share of jobs accessible via transit ranges from 37 percent in Washington and New York to 16 percent in Miami.
LINK: Honolulu has #1 Combined Access Rank -- Combined ranking on coverage and job access
LINK: Full Report on Transit Access to Jobs (Honolulu is mentioned on almost every page)
REUTERS: Honolulu is Big Kahuna for commuting on public transit