Study finds Richmond transit disconnected

When it comes to connecting workers to jobs by way of public transit, the Richmond metro area has a lot of work to do.

The area was ranked 92 out of 100 metro areas in a recent Brookings Institute study that examined the effectiveness of public transit when it comes to getting workers to jobs.

The study considered the percentage workforce population living near a transit stop and the percentage of jobs accessible by transit within 90 minutes to determine the rankings.

In Richmond, only 31 percent of working age residents live near a transit stop, that is less than half of the 100 metro average. Within the city the percentage is 100 percent, but in the counties the number falls to 18 percent.

Only 27 percent of jobs are reachable by transit within 90 minutes in Richmond, which is close to the average of 30 percent.

Brookings fellow Alan Berube spoke recently about the findings at a meeting held by Mayor Dwight Jones’ Anti-Poverty Commission

RVA News reports:

Berube advised policy makers to “think about how to get workers of all skill levels across the region,” as a means of alleviating poverty.

Both Berube and Mayor Jones emphasized the need for expanded bus routes in areas surrounding Richmond. At the meeting’s commencement Mayor Jones announced, “We need to expand our thinking and our discussion…in order to have a truly regional transportation.”

Although public transportation is highly accessible within city limits, only 18% of individuals living in Richmond’s suburbs have transit coverage. Most bus routes end just outside the city, even though over a quarter of jobs are located in Richmond’s counties. Significantly, many employment opportunities in these areas are low and mid-level skill jobs with high turnover rates.

When it comes to connecting workers to jobs by way of public transit, the Richmond metro area has a lot of work to do.

The area was ranked 92 out of 100 metro areas in a recent Brookings Institute study that examined the effectiveness of public transit when it comes to getting workers to jobs.

The study considered the percentage workforce population living near a transit stop and the percentage of jobs accessible by transit within 90 minutes to determine the rankings.

In Richmond, only 31 percent of working age residents live near a transit stop, that is less than half of the 100 metro average. Within the city the percentage is 100 percent, but in the counties the number falls to 18 percent.

Only 27 percent of jobs are reachable by transit within 90 minutes in Richmond, which is close to the average of 30 percent.

Brookings fellow Alan Berube spoke recently about the findings at a meeting held by Mayor Dwight Jones’ Anti-Poverty Commission

RVA News reports:

Berube advised policy makers to “think about how to get workers of all skill levels across the region,” as a means of alleviating poverty.

Both Berube and Mayor Jones emphasized the need for expanded bus routes in areas surrounding Richmond. At the meeting’s commencement Mayor Jones announced, “We need to expand our thinking and our discussion…in order to have a truly regional transportation.”

Although public transportation is highly accessible within city limits, only 18% of individuals living in Richmond’s suburbs have transit coverage. Most bus routes end just outside the city, even though over a quarter of jobs are located in Richmond’s counties. Significantly, many employment opportunities in these areas are low and mid-level skill jobs with high turnover rates.

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Mortgage Mark
Mortgage Mark
10 years ago

Why can’t GRTC figure out that it would make more sense to reduce the sizes of the buses to vans? I NEVER see a city bus with more than a couple of riders at a time. It sure seems to me that it would be more efficient and better environmentally to reduce the size of the buses—not to mention helping reduce traffic congestion—-the big purple monsters are constantly blocking intersections and slowing other traffic.

Casey Quinlan
Casey Quinlan
10 years ago

I moved here 10 years ago from NYC. When people ask me what I miss the most about New York, my answer is always “effective public transportation.” Richmond had the 1st streetcar system in the Western Hemisphere. Now it can’t even run a bus system in a way that makes it easy for suburban commuters to ditch their cars. Effective public transportation would mean that a commuter could catch a bus (or a tram, or a light-rail train) from anywhere in the metro region and wind up close to their job. Not possible currently, and I wonder what the public… Read more »