2015 Transportation Report Card

A great transportation system grows the economy, gives people choices and keeps our environment healthy. Central Maryland's Regional Grade: D


Access to Jobs via Driving

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Our Grade: D It will come as no surprise to people in the Baltimore region that driving to work has gotten worse: the number of jobs reachable in a short drive (10 min., 20 min., or 30 min.) all went down between 1990 and 2010.

Definition: This indicator measures the percentage of our region's jobs that a typical resident can get to in 20 minutes or less by driving.

Reason: This is an indicator of whether our transportation system supports economic growth. Driving is the preferred option for many residents in the region to get to work. Over the years, if a typical resident can reach more and more jobs in convenient driving times it is a sign of a great transportation system.

Who's Doing It Better?: Salt Lake City. We believe that to earn an A, a regional transportation system should show improvement in access to jobs via car. A typical Salt Lake City resident could get to more jobs in under 20 minutes by driving in 2010 than was possible in 1990.

Note the "Who's Doing It Better?" sections under the Access to Jobs Via Public Transportation and the Access to Jobs Via Driving indicators. Both highlight the Salt Lake City region. Since 1997, the year in which Maryland last expanded the Baltimore regional transit system, Utahans have opened three new light rail lines, an 88-mile commuter train, a streetcar, a bus rapid transit line and an expansion to the downtown intermodal hub. Not surprisingly, over that period access to jobs via transit got better. But it is important to point out that it also got better via driving. This demonstrates that investing in transit can be an effective way to benefit users across the entire transportation network, not just transit riders. Also important: since 2001 (the earliest year for which we could find comparable data) the Salt Lake region's gross domestic product has grown faster than the Baltimore region's as shown in the table here.

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