Impact of Twin Cities Transitways on Regional Labor Market Accessibility: A Transportation Equity Perspective

Thursday, February 4, 2010 - 10:45am

About the Event

This seminar will address findings from research examining how the Hiawatha light rail line influences job accessibility of the working poor in the Twin Cities.

In the study, researchers performed two complementary analyses, including a before-and-after accessibility analysis and a before-and-after commuter-flow analysis.

With the accessibility analysis, the researchers found significant increases in transit accessibility to low-wage jobs over the study interval. They also found major accessibility gains occurring not only along the Hiawatha corridor but also along the bus routes (especially the high-frequency routes) that connect with the Hiawatha line.

With the commuter-flow analysis, the researchers found significant relocations of low-wage workers to areas near three Hiawatha LRT stations including Cedar-Riverside, Franklin Avenue, and Lake Street-Midtown, as well as to areas with bus connections to Hiawatha. They also found significant reorientation of low-wage jobs to the Hiawatha station areas in downtown Minneapolis and Bloomington’s Mall of America area.

Taken together, the analyses show positive evidence on the role of transit in promoting social equity.

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Yingling Fan is an assistant professor of regional planning and policy at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on social and health aspects of land use and transportation planning.