Low-income workers face multiple barriers to advancement
Moving to Work examines the critical role of transit - as well as development clustered around transit (TOD) - in linking low-income communities with career-ladder opportunities
Reconnecting America with Urban Habitat and support from the Great Communities Collaborative today released the findings and recommendations from a year and a half long project: Moving to Work in the Bay Area, a study of the barriers that low-income workers in the Bay Area face to accessing economic opportunity.
The study found that while low-income workers in the Bay Area face multiple barriers to career advancement, the economic and workforce development fields often overlook a key barrier for low-income workers: transit access. In turn, transit advocates often overlook the importance of job creation and training to building a stronger Bay Area economy as well as…
Pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure such as sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails, can all be used for transportation, recreation, and fitness. These types of infrastructure have been shown to create many benefits for their users as well as the rest of the community. Some of these benefits are economic, such as increased revenues and jobs for local businesses, and some are non-economic benefits such as reduced congestion, better air quality, safer travel routes, and improved health outcomes. While other studies have examined the economic and noneconomic impacts of the use of walking and cycling infrastructure, few have analyzed the employment that results from the design and construction of these projects. In this study we estimate the employment impacts of building and refurbishing transportation infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. We analyze various transportation projects and use state-specific data to estimate the number of jobs created…
Most of the emphasis to date on TOD has been around residential development – building compact, mixed-use, mixed-income housing near transit, with shops and services nearby and a variety of transportation choices. Yet economic and workforce development are just as important to incorporate into transit-oriented communities. People who can take transit to work often spend less on transportation costs, saving them money to spend on other things. Employers also benefit by locating near transit in a variety of ways, from gaining access to a larger labor pool, saving money on things like parking and health care and greater convenience to clients and customers. Workforce training providers that locate near transit give potential workers greater access to their services and also lower the cost of taking such training courses in order to find a job. This is especially important for low- to middle-skill workers, who often need training beyond high school to get a good paying…
This paper introduces ABODE, an agent-based model for Origin-Destination (OD) demand estimation, that can serve as a work trip distribution model. The model takes residential locations of workers and the locations of employers as exogenous and deals specifically with the interactions between firms and workers in creating a job-worker match and the commute outcomes. It is meant to illustrate that by explicitly modeling the search and hiring process, origins and destinations (ODs) can be linked at a disaggregate level that is reasonably true to the actual process. The model is tested on a toy-city as well as using data from the Twin Cities area. The toy-city model illustrates that the model predicts reasonable commute outcomes, with agents selecting the closest work place when wage and skill differentiation is absent in the labor market. The introduction of wage dispersion and skill differentiation increases the average home to work distances considerably. Using data from Twin…
In 2006, the Center for housIng PolICy released A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families in partnership with the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC-Berkeley. By documenting the trade-offs that moderate-income households make between their housing and transportation costs, A Heavy Load encouraged practitioners and policymakers to take a more comprehensive view of housing affordability. This broader approach adds the costs of travel to daily destinations to the traditional components of housing costs — rent or mortgage payments and utilities — to compute a combined cost that better reflects the full costs associated with selecting one housing unit, and its location, over another.
Six years later, the idea that housing and transportation costs need to be examined together has gained considerable traction. A growing number of localities and states are considering the…
New Jersey is in possession of a valuable resource: one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the country, an artifact of a transportation past that pre-dates the Interstate Highway System and the omnipresence of the automobile. The legacy bequeathed by this resource is a rate of transit commuting that is second highest among the 50 states. Transit ridership creates many societal, economic, and personal benefits: for example, reducing congestion on the state’s roads; alleviating the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases; reducing the need for vehicle ownership; and freeing up commuters’ time for other uses (reading, sleeping, etc.) rather than having to pay attention to the road. In general, transit creates efficiencies and reduces the per-capita impact of the transportation system by allowing multiple travelers to share the ride.
If increasing transit ridership is a desirable goal, then an intermediate goal must be to improve access to…
An analysis of data from 371 transit providers in the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas reveals that:
Over three-quarters of all jobs in the 100 largest metropolitan areas are in neighborhoods with transit service. Western metro areas like Los Angeles and Seattle exhibit the highest coverage rates, while rates are lowest in Southern metro areas like Atlanta and Greenville. Regardless of region, city jobs across every metro area and industry category have better access to transit than their suburban counterparts.
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…
There is a growing body of evidence, including earlier Mineta Transportation Institute-sponsored research, showing that multi-destination transit systems are far more effective in attracting passengers and more efficient in use of resources to carry each passenger than central business district (CBD)-focused systems. At the same time, however, evidence is beginning to show that multi-destination transit systems appeal largely to transit-dependent riders (also called captive riders), whose demand for transit service appears to be highly elastic with respect to the shortening of transit travel time between origin and destination. Given the interest in using transit investments to lure people from their automobiles in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce congestion, it is imperative that the appeal of such systems to choice riders (also called discretionary riders) also be understood. However, this issue remains as yet relatively unexplored.
High unemployment rates and slow employment growth continue to threaten our economy. Once-successful sectors are in decline. Even the workplace itself is in transition. New technologies and ways of working have disrupted everything from the speed of a typical product cycle to the amount of real estate a company needs.