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Understanding the Impacts of Transitways: How Light-Rail Transit Improves Job Access for Low-Wage Workers

This Transitway Impacts Research Program (TIRP) research found the Hiawatha light-rail line provides significant benefits for transit-dependent low-wage workers—improving transportation equity in the Twin Cities.

Project Fast Facts

  • The number of low-wage jobs accessible by 30 minutes of transit travel in morning peak hours increased by 14,000 jobs in light-rail station areas and by 4,000 jobs in areas with direct light-rail bus connections after the addition of the Hiawatha line and related transit network upgrades.
  • After light-rail construction, low-wage workers are locating near station areas. Hiawatha and related transit upgrades are estimated to have drawn 907 low-wage workers into the Hiawatha station areas. Out of the 907 relocated workers, 78 percent moved to areas near the Cedar-Riverside, Franklin Avenue, and Lake Street-Midtown stations.
  • The number of low-wage jobs has increased near station areas. Hiawatha and related transit upgrades are estimated to have brought more than 5,000 low-wage jobs into areas near downtown Minneapolis and suburban Bloomington light-rail stations.