Impact of Twin Cities Transitways on Regional Labor Market Accessibility: A Transportation Equity Perspective
Yingling Fan, Andrew Guthrie, Rose Teng
Report no. CTS 10-06
This study evaluates the impact of the Hiawatha light rail line on job accessibility for the economically disadvantaged, seeking to further understanding of transit?s role in promoting social equity, and to identify commute flow changes among low-wage workers. The results will inform more equitable transit polices and improvements in the future. Numerous studies find spatial mismatch is an impediment to employment for low-wage workers. While transit is recognized as a tool for improving outcomes, results of empirical research are mixed. Several studies find positive relationships; others fine none. The study examines changes in jobs accessible by transit throughout the service day. We utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS) map analysis, summary statistics and regression analysis. Regression models estimate before- and after-LRT accessibility as a function of distance to the nearest transit stop, location within the immediate area of a light rail station or other transit premium stop, and of various demographic variables. We examine shifts in actual home-to-work commute flows using the Longitudinal Employment and Housing Database (LEHD) Origin-Destination Matrix. We employ GIS map analysis, summary statistics and regression analysis. Regression models estimate shifts in where individuals commute from and to as a function of distance to the nearest transit stop at both ends of a commute, location within the immediate area of a light rail station or other premium transit stop at both ends of a commute, and of various demographic variables. The report makes recommendations for applying our method to future transitways. Policy implications are discussed.