Despite its automobile-dependent reputation, the Los Angeles region ranked well in a study of transit service for households that don't own cars.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
The car-loving L.A region -– whose public transit system is often treated like Rodney Dangerfield -- ranked second to Honolulu as offering transit-dependent residents the best access to buses and trains, according to a report by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.
Most L.A. area residents who lack a vehicle live in a neighborhood within three-quarters of a mile of a bus or train stop -- far better than many other regions, Adie Tomer, author of the report for Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, said in an interview.
■ In the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, 7.5 million households do not have access to a private automobile. A majority of these zero-vehicle households live in cities and earn lower incomes. Conversely, households with vehicles tend to live in suburbs and earn middle or higher incomes. The unique locational and income characteristics of zero-vehicle households reinforce their need for strong transit service.
■ Over 90 percent of zero-vehicle households in large metropolitan areas live in neighborhoods with access to transit service of some kind. This greatly exceeds the 68 percent coverage rate for households with a vehicle, suggesting transit service aligns with households who rely on it most. However, some 700,000 zero-vehicle households in the 100 largest metro areas lack access to transit.
■ The typical metropolitan household without a vehicle can reach over 40 percent of metro-wide jobs via transit within 90 minutes, exceeding the 29 percent transit access share for households with a vehicle. The tendency of zero-vehicle households to live in cities contributes to their above-average access to jobs via transit. Unfortunately, limited job access via transit in most metropolitan areas leaves many jobs out of reach for zero-vehicle households.
Millions of zero-vehicle households live in areas well served by transit. Yet hundreds of thousands of zero-vehicle households live out of transit’s reach, particularly in the South and in the suburbs. And those with transit access still cannot reach a majority of jobs in metro areas within 90 minutes. Based on these trends, leaders must recognize these households’ unique mobility needs and aim to improve job accessibility through sound policy.