The Link between Jobs and Transit: A Critical Connection

May 2, 2013


Last November, Elizabeth Wampler and Allison Brooks from Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development authored a memo to the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative on making the critical connection between jobs and transit.  They note that the Central Corridor contains a significant share of the region’s largest industries, including some with the most potential to be transit-oriented.  Numerous benefits of making the jobs and transit connection are described in the memo including:

  • Transit lines that connect more jobs have higher ridership.
  • Development along new light rail lines tends to follow jobs.
  • The cost savings provided by transit can be translated into regional economic benefits.

Already, before the Green Line opens, the Central Corridor provides better job access via transit than the region on average.  However, the Twin Cities region is behind its peers in providing transit connections to jobs.  Only 11% of jobs in the region are located hear fixed-guideway transit which ranks 30th in comparison to other metro areas of similar size. 

So how do we make this important connection?  Transit won’t attract jobs alone, but can work as an organizing principle.  Elizabeth and Allison make the case that an integrated, regional transit network is key and that job centers that have a mix of uses are more likely to support transit users.  They cite examples of state policies to encourage business growth and development as well as examples of private firms making location decisions based on transit availability.    

Read the full memo to learn more about the opportunities and challenges of making the link between jobs and transit in the Central Corridor.