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 Public Transportation

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Our Grade: D A typical resident of Central Maryland can only get to 11% of the region's jobs in under an hour using public transportation.

Definition: This indicator measures the percentage of our region's jobs that a typical resident can get to in 60 minutes or less using forms of public transportation including buses and trains.

Reason: This is an indicator of whether our transportation system supports economic growth. It tells us whether the region's public transportation system is helping connect workers with employers. Many low-skill and mid-skill workers do not have a car, which cuts them off from many job opportunities. Businesses need reliable access to a larger labor pool to compete and grow.

Who's Doing It Better?: Salt Lake City. We believe that to earn an A a regional transportation system should provide access to at least 25% of a region's jobs in 60 minutes or less via public transportation. The Salt Lake City metro region where Utahans, since the 1990's, have expanded the light rail system and overhauled their network of bus routes earns an A. A typical Salt Lake City resident can get to 25.4% of the region's jobs in under an hour on transit.

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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