Yingling Fan, Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
In the seven-county Twin Cities region, significant long-range transit planning activities have been ongoing since the late 1990s--and a network of 14 transitways is planned by 2030. How can the region ensure the greatest return on this investment, improve job accessibility, and strengthen the region's economic future? University of Minnesota researchers set out to find the answer.
To determine how well transitways connect workers to job opportunities--and employers to the labor force--researchers first identified where the region's greatest opportunities exist. The first step in this process was mapping competitive clusters--geographic groupings of interconnected businesses and organizations that drive regional employment, pay higher wages, and experience faster wage growth. The team found significant variation in the size and location of these clusters, as well as variation in how well these clusters are served by the current transit system.
To determine how the planned transitway investments could yield maximum accessibility benefits and economic growth, the research team then developed and analyzed alternative land-development strategies and identified the most promising development solutions. The team's key findings include: