In January 2015 The NYU Rudin Center for Transportation released a new report: “Mobility, Economic Opportunity and New York City Neighborhoods,” (updated in November) focusing on the variations of job access by transit throughout New York City.
Although public transit provides access to jobs throughout the New York City region, there are actually substantial inequalities in mobility. By focusing on the neighborhood level, the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation has identified communities that are substantially underserved by the public transportation system.
“In New York, mass transit is the path to economic mobility, not education,” Mitchell Moss, Rudin’s director, told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s far more important to have a MetroCard than a college degree.” (Gothamist)
In New York City neighborhoods where people are heavily dependent on transit but access to jobs via train or bus is mediocre, 67 percent of workers commute by transit. In these areas the average income is lower than the city average, at $46,773, and the unemployment rate is 11.7, the highest in the city.
“It’s exactly these commuters, who live just beyond the reach of convenient transit but lack the resources to own a private car, who could benefit most from improvements to the city’s transit network.” (Streetsblog)
The report recommends that policymakers increase the number of transportation modal options across the city, maximize use of existing transportation infrastructure, and foster the ability to work remotely. These solutions will benefit all New Yorkers’ access to job opportunities and economic improvement.
“We need to link transit to areas that aren’t likely to get a new subway system — using … a variety of buses, more customized buses to link people to the mass transit system,” [Moss] says. “In some cases it’s getting people to mass transit that’s the challenge.” (Vox)
This research was supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and Google.