The Brookings Institution last week released its latest study of transit’s ability in the U.S. to get people to their jobs. The good news is that the Los Angeles metro area ranked first in the number of jobs near transit.
The region, on the other hand, ranked 42nd in the country in terms of workers’ ability to reach their jobs via transit in 90 minutes. The numbers suggest the challenge in the L.A. region is that many people’s residences are either far from frequent transit or from their jobs, or both. No surprise there.
From the study summary:
The typical job is accessible to only about 27 percent of its metropolitan workforce by transit in 90 minutes or less. Labor access varies considerably from a high of 64 percent in metropolitan Salt Lake City to a low of 6 percent in metropolitan Palm Bay, reflecting differences in both transit provision, job concentration, and land use patterns. City jobs are consistently accessible to larger shares of metropolitan labor pools than suburban jobs, reinforcing cities’ geographic advantage relative to transit routing.
Again, I’m not sure that’s a shocking conclusion. The hope is that it resonates with both those who make land-use policy and, equally important, the firms that have the freedom to choose where they locate. Yes, there may be cheap land and real estate in the distant ‘burbs, but the Brookings study suggests that comes with a price — lack of access to a good chunk of the workforce.