Mark Abraham (DataHaven)
December 12, 2014
South Central Regional Council of Governments, Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP, Workforce Alliance
Commissioned by the South Central Regional Council of Governments, the region’s branch of the NAACP and the Workforce Alliance, DataHaven analyzed how transportation — or lack thereof — keeps people out of the workforce in Greater New Haven.
Most entry and mid-level jobs are located outside of downtown New Haven, while the majority of low-income adults live in the city. This spatial mismatch between supply and demand for regional jobs makes access to transportation a crucial issue to regional economic opportunities.
Our study revealed that within the City of New Haven, over one in four families does not have a car, relying exclusively on public transportation to commute to work. Meanwhile, limitations to the public transit system make taking the bus to work challenging — including long commute times, reduced bus service at night and on weekends, and distance between bus stops and job centers.
Further, jobs that pay well and are a short commute from home are largely inaccessible to most city residents who need them — only 4 percent of living-wage jobs in the city are held by residents of “low-income” neighborhoods,where nearly half of the city’s population lives.
The study concluded that policies pursuing equitable access to transportation and development of jobs close to transportation hubs are crucial to ensure economic opportunity throughout the region.