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.