Brookings Report: Jobs out of reach of mass transit

A new Brookings Institution study reveals just 30 percent of jobs are reachable using public transit, but nearly 70 percent of Americans live close to public transit. The study reviewed 371 transit systems in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.

Transit coverage is best in Western metro areas like Honolulu and Los Angeles; the lowest coverage is in Southern metro areas such as Chattanooga and Greenville. The study revealed residents of cities and lower-income neighborhoods have better access to transit than those who live in the suburbs and middle/higher-income neighborhoods. Also, the typical metropolitan resident can reach about 30 percent of jobs in their area via transit in 90 minutes.

The report has suggestions for local, regional, state and national level leaders:

Ø      They should make access to jobs an explicit priority in their spending and service decisions, especially given the budget pressures they currently face.

Ø      Metro leaders should coordinate strategies regarding land use, economic development and housing, with transit decisions in ensure transit reaches more people and more jobs efficiently.

Ø      Federal officials should collect, review and standardize transit data for those on the local, regional and state levels.

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