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…
During the past two decades, transit-oriented development (TOD) has emerged as a powerful tool for creating liveable communities near good public transit through the development of dense housing, work places, retail and other community amenities. As demand for liveable communities grows, land values near transit increase, which can sometimes lead to gentrification. Recently, a particular approach to TOD has been gaining greater attention: equitable TOD.
Equitable TOD prioritizes social equity as a key component of TOD implementation. It aims to ensure that all people along a transit corridor, including those who are low income, have the opportunity to reap the benefits of easy access to employment opportunities offering living wages, health clinics, fresh food markets, human services, schools and childcare centers. By developing or preserving affordable housing and encouraging locating jobs near transit, equitable TOD can minimize the burden of housing and transportation…
Like similar transit systems in Japan and Western Europe, BART can retool its stations and approach to access planning to attract more bicycles and fewer cars to the system each day. Bicycling to BART, particularly when those trips replace automobile access, helps avoid construction of costly auto parking spaces, can increase ridership, reinforce the agency’s image as a green transportation provider, promote fitness and public health, and contribute to achieving regional goals to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Providing plentiful and convenient bike parking is also the most effective tool BART has to encourage as many passengers as possible to leave their bicycles at the station, rather than bringing them onboard, thus leaving space for the system to carry more passengers.
When this plan was published in 2012, approximately 4% of home-based trips, or about 14,000, were made to and from BART stations each weekday by…
Why This Book?
Transit-oriented development can be used as a tool to support family-friendly communities and high-quality education. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a mix of housing, retail and/or commercial development, and amenities in a walkable neighborhood with high-quality public transportation. Interest in TOD has grown across the country to achieve multiple goals, including:
Reduced automobile trips and greenhouse gas emissions;
Increased transit ridership and transit agency revenues;
The potential for increased and/or sustained property values near transit;
Improved access to jobs for households of all incomes;
Reduced infrastructure costs, compared to what is required to support sprawling growth;
Reduced transportation costs for residents;
Improved public health due to increased walking and biking;
Creation of a sense of community and place.
Recent TOD projects have often catered more to young professionals, empty nesters or other households without children, as these…
The federal government, through various transportation acts, such as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and, more recently, the Safe, Affordable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), has reinforced the need for integration of land use and transportation and the provision of public transit. Other federal programs, such as the Livable Communities Program and the New Starts Program, have provided additional impetus to public transit. At the state and regional level, the past three decades have seen increased provision of public transit. However, the public transit systems typically require significant operating and capital subsidies—75 percent of transit funding is provided by local and state governments.1 With all levels of government under significant fiscal stress, new transit funding mechanisms are welcome. Value capture (VC) is once…
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.
Over the next 25 years, the San Francisco Bay Area is projected to grow by an estimated 22 percent—adding around 1.6 million new residents. Land use and development professionals are engaged in a dialogue around how the region can accommodate this growth in a way that maintains the extraordinary quality-of-life that attracts people to live and work in the region. With an eye toward demographic shifts like an aging population and an increasing number of smaller and non-family households, planners and developers recognize the growing demand for homes and jobs in walkable, urban environments.
High land and housing costs in the core areas of the region, however, create continued development pressure in the outskirts of the region, leading to commute-times and household transportation costs that are among the highest in the nation. The high cost of housing and transportation is particularly felt by the region’s moderate- and lower-income families, who in some cities spend as…
Many metropolitan areas are struggling with how to accommodate future population growth—and are looking to transit-oriented development (TOD) as a potential solution. TODs, in which densely-built, mixedincome housing is placed near transit to create walkable neighborhoods complete with amenities and retail, could house as many as a quarter of the country’s new households in coming years.1 Yet one barrier to building a significant amount of TOD housing is the unwillingness of many local residents to support some of the components of TOD, particularly higher-density construction and mixed-income housing. Often called NIMBYs (short for Not-In-My-Backyard), opposing residents can stop such developments in their tracks.