Focusing on Mobility Not Travel Mode for Better Economic Growth

The last article outlined research on job access by cars, transit and walking by the University of Minnesota Accessibility Observatory that assesses mobility by car, transit and walking in 49 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Of course, it is to be expected that the metropolitan areas will have the largest number of jobs accessible to the average employee simply by virtue of their larger labor markets.

Indeed, smaller, but important major labor markets, from Grand Rapids and Buffalo to Philadelphia and Washington seem unlikely to ever rival the job numbers in metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles.

Researchers such as Remy Prud’homme and Chang-Woon Lee of the University of Paris, David Hartgen and M. Gregory Fields of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte have shown that a city (metropolitan area( is likely to experience better economic results if its transportation system provides better mobility. This includes greater job creation, greater economic growth and poverty reduction.

Virtually any metropolitan area will do well to focus on maximizing mobility. This article describes the percentage of jobs in each of the 49 metropolitan areas that can be reached by the average employee in 30 minutes, a time slightly longer than the US one-way work trip average travel time of 26.4 minutes.

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