[Excerpt] According to the report, New Haven has been adding high-paying jobs since 2000 that go primarily to college graduates, and only 4 percent of 47,000 jobs paying more than $20 per hour are held by residents of the city’s low-income neighborhoods. Most of the living-wage jobs in New Haven — 81 percent — are held by out-of-towners.
SCRCOG Executive Director Carl Amento called the problem “this mismatch between where the jobs are and where the people are.”
The issue of transportation for those in the inner city is the focus of a new report by a coalition of groups, including the Greater New Haven branch of the NAACP, the South Central Regional Council of Governments, the Workforce Alliance and DataHaven. The report is titled “How Transportation Problems Keep People Out of the Workforce in Greater New Haven.”
Adding to the problem, 13,000 New Haven households — more than a fourth — have no car available to bring their wage earners to work. That total rises to almost half in the Dixwell, Dwight, Hill and West Rock neighborhoods, the report states.
Mark Abraham, executive director of Data Haven, said the report “essentially proves scientifically that this an issue that prevents people from accessing jobs.”
Mass transit comes nowhere near easing the problem.
“A typical resident of Greater New Haven can use public transit to reach only 27 percent of jobs in the region with a 90-minute one-way commute taken at rush hour,” the report states. The issue makes a larger impact on those who must transfer between buses or those who work late shifts, ending after the buses stop running.
“Putting transportation equity as a high priority in planning and policy-making, especially when economic stimulus dollars and tax incentives are involved, can go a long way in fixing a system that leaves the poor and unemployed unable to move forward.”