[Excerpt] This will not come as big news to anyone who depends on the bus — or two or three buses — to get to work, but a new area study has found that the more spread out and off-the-bus-line jobs are, the harder it is for people who ride the bus to get jobs.
In fact, the issue “has often been identified as the most pressing” among inner-city workers, Mark Abraham of Data Haven told the South Central Regional Council of Governments recently in a report on a draft of a new study.
In part, that’s because, while there was a time as recently as the 1990s when two-thirds of the jobs that inner-city residents worked at were in the city, nowadays the majority of the jobs in the area are in the suburbs, Abraham told the council.
Job choice often is limited by what’s easily accessible from the bus system, Abraham said.
The study, “How Transportation Problems Keep People Out of the Workforce in Greater New Haven,” is an offshoot of the NAACP’s 2013 State of Minority Affairs Report, “Urban Apartheid,” which called on the community to review the impact of inadequate transportation on employment opportunities, COG Executive Director Carl Amento told the council.
The Council of Governments formed a working group that includes members of the NAACP, the COG, Data Haven and the Workforce Alliance in the wake of the report “and we’ve been meeting pretty much monthly for over a year,” Amento said. The report is paid for with an $18,000 state grant.
It covers the 15-town area covered by the South Central Regional Council of Governments, which includes New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, Hamden, Milford, Meriden, Bethany, Branford, Guilford, Madison, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford and Woodbridge.