Transit, Equity, and Regional Economic Development Lessons from the Twin Cities

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1 Transit, Equity, and Regional Economic Development Lessons from the Twin Cities Research Seminar at the National Center for Smart Growth, University of Maryland February 28, 2012

2 Transit is more than a means of transportation Ten percent of US households had no cars in % much higher in cities, e..g, 20% in Minneapolis, MN; 37% in Washington, DC. Transit connects people to jobs economic opportunities, especially for the transitdependent Growing demand for transit means catalyst for development (e.g., TOD). 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 500,000, ,000, ,000, ,000, ,000,000 0 Car ownership $5K $15K $25K $35K $45K >$50K Transit Ridership (UPT) Washington, DC Metro Twin Ctiies Metro

3 Twin Cities 2030 TransitwaySystem

4 Common Criticisms about Major Expensive Transit Capital Projects Over-stated ridership Buffalo s population-losing light rail line Suburban-oriented serving mainly middle-class suburbanites Landmark civil rights suit by the Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles Gentrification Possible displacement of disadvantaged groups

5 Clear up the mixed message Project #1: Impact of light rail implementation on job accessibility: a transportation equity perspective Project #2: Assessing neighborhood and social impacts of transit corridors

6 Project #1: The Hiawatha Case 6

7 Locations of lowwage workers/jobs in 2002 relative to bus routes with direct LRT connections Source: Census LEHD. 7

8 Area Types Station areas Connection areas direct bus-lrt connection; LRT reachable within 30 mins; Contain 22% of all the metro area pop Regular Transit Served Areas Connection Areas Station Areas 8

9 Before-after changes in low-wage job accessibility across different areas (%) 80% 60% 40% 20% 16.1k 4.5k 0.6k 14.2k 3.8k 16.1k 3.6k 0.7k 11.4k Station Area Connection Area Regular Area 10.0k 1.6k 0.2k 0.8k 0.1k 0% -20% 5-6 am 7-8 am 12-1 pm 5-6 pm 8-9 pm -0.6k 9

10 Accessibility Changes: Morning Peak 7am-8am 10

11 Increased Accessibility Actual Gains? Not Necessarily Job accessibility of a neighborhood: Amount of job opportunities reachable to workers living in the neighborhood For increased Accessibility = Actual Gains Workers living in the station & connection areas Those workers commute to jobs in the station & connection areas 11

12 Downtown Station Areas North Hiawatha Station Areas South Hiawatha Station Areas Suburban Station Areas 12

13 Before-and-After Commuter Flow Analysis Area Categories WORKERS Moving In JOBS Moving In Total workers Average (Per BG Pair) Total jobs Downtown Hiawatha Average (Per BG Pair) North Hiawatha South Hiawatha Suburban Hiawatha Connected Areas (blue areas)

14 Policy Implications Positive evidence on the role of LRT in promoting social equity 1. The positive Hiawatha impact is regional in scale. To transit planners: Transit system integration/coordination is essential to the improvement of accessibility. 2. Low-wage workers and employers are able to take advantage of LRT, at least in the context of the Hiawatha line. To land use planners: Balancing jobs and housing: NOT necessarily on the same site (i.e., balance at the corridor level NOT the station level ) 14

15 Project #2: Assessing Neighborhood and Social Influences of Transit Corridors Focus on perceived Impacts of Transitways on the neighborhood among residents and businesses 15

16 Survey of Residents Objectives Survey Sample Questionnaire Measure perceived transitway impacts Identify who gain and who lose 750 responses from 4 transitways Central Corridor, Hiawatha, Cedar Ave, and Northstar Cluster sampling from 4 neighborhoods each corridor Questionnaire covers three parts: Perceived neighborhood change Travel behavior Background demographics

17 Study Neighborhood Locations Representativeness cover the full ranges of social conditions, development types. Relevant definitions neighborhood planning districts, station areas, park and ride catchment areas, local expert consultation. Oversampling of vulnerable populations more than a representative portion of populations vulnerable to displacement and other potential negative consequences. 17

18 Questions about Perceived Transitway Effects Past view Overall, has this neighborhood become a better or worse place to live over the PAST five years or since you moved in? Overall, what is your opinion of any effects [the Transitway] has had on the neighborhood so far? Future outlook Overall, will this neighborhood become a better or worse place to live over the NEXT five years? Overall, what is your opinion of how the [the Transitway] will affect this neighborhood in the future? 18

19 Percent of Positive Responses Results 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% CCLRT Hiawatha Cedar Ave Northstar NBRD Transitway NBRD Transitway Past Future People are more positive about transitway-relatedneighborhood change than overallneighborhood change, regardless of past or future. People are much more positive along urban than suburban corridors, especially when it comes to future changes.

20 Who tends to expect positive impacts? Urban corridors New residents, married, non-asian, immigrants Frequent transit users, those with positive previous experience of transitways North Loop residents of Hiawatha Suburban corridors Frequent transit users Cedar Grove residents of Cedar Ave BRT and non-big Lake residents of Northstar

21 Concentrate Here Keep up the good work Specific Impacts: Importance/Satisfaction Low Priority Possible overkill

22 Expected Impacts to Concentrate On Expected important/ negative impacts nuisance factors. Some call for intervention, some for education. Central Corridor Hiawatha Cedar Ave Northstar Security/crime Pedestrian safety Street quietness Traffic congestion Parking Bus services

23 GeneralizableImplications Appropriate interventions need to be corridor-, neighborhood-, and population-specific Special attention to long-time residents, ethnic and cultural communities and low-income neighborhoods. Actual policy changes and/or public education campaigns Transit-dependent station-area residents and current bus riders may help form a coalition of support.

24 Project #3: Enterprising Twin Cities Transitways Regional Competitiveness and Social Equity in an Integrated Land Use and Transit Context

25 Objectives Measure how the 2030 transit system alters the accessibility of the region Using regional expected housing & employment in Accessibility to the competitive clusters Test different, potentially achievableland use scenarios in the region shift job and population concentration from what is forecasted by the Metropolitan Council. examine alternative growth patterns that enhance accessibility and can work together with the 2030 transitways. 25

26 Current Twin Cities clusters & cluster jobs as a percentage of all metro jobs 26 Competitive Clusters interconnected industries key to regional development Cluster Basic Expanded Medical manufacturing Management of Companies 4.4% 7.0% 9.1% 25.0% Finance & Insurance 11.1% 46.9% Book Publishers & Printing Industries Lessors of Non- Financial Assets 6.2% 12.8% 2.5% 6.9% Cumulative employment Medical Manufacturing Management of Companies and Enter prises Finance and Insurance Book Publishers and Printing Services Lessors of Non Financial Intangible Assets Distance from downtown Minneapolis (Mi) 26

27 Current Access to Cluster Jobs by Transit Medical Manufacturing (7% of metro jobs) Finance and Insurance (47% of metro jobs) Illustrated the varying degrees of access by transit to the different clusters. 27

28 Scenario Analysis Population Scenarios 2030 Scenario Analysis Combinations Centralizes at transitways MC 2030 forecasts Centralizesat transitways Employment Scenarios MC 2030 forecasts Growth at fringe X X X X Base case X Growth at fringe X X X Within each combination We test small, moderate, and aggressive job and population growth rates We calculate the average population-weighted accessibility 28

29 Scenario 1: Job and Population Centralization along Transitways Population Centralization Employment Centralization None Low Mod. High None 126, % +2.6% +4.5% Low +0.6% +2.4% +3.3% +5.2% Moderate +1.2% +3.0% +3.9% +5.8% High +2.2% +4.0% +4.9% +6.9% The None-None scenario corresponds to the base 2030 case. Centralization occurs along transitways only Gains in accessibility for the average individual is high as a result of employment centralization than from population centralization. 29

30 Scenario 2: Job and Population Decentralization Population Decentralization Employment Decentralization None Low Mod. High None 126, % -0.63% -1.29% Low -0.03% -0.24% -0.66% -1.32% Moderate -0.09% -0.30% -0.72% -1.38% High -0.18% -0.39% -0.81% -1.47% The None-None scenario corresponds to the base 2030 case. Decentralization occurs everywhere outside the I-494/694 beltway Losses for the average individual are not very large under any scenario, but larger losses arise from employment decentralization than from residential decentralization. 30

31 Scenario 5: Job & Population Centralization (not transitway focused) Population Centralization Employment Centralization None Low Mod. High None 126, % +0.69% +1.24% Low +0.05% +0.28% +0.74% +1.29% Moderate +0.26% +0.50% +0.95% +1.51% High +1.48% +1.71% +2.18% +2.74% Increased concentration within all inner-beltway TAZs Modest gains when compared to a transitway focused centralization 31

32 Where are the gains in accessibility to cluster jobs? Much of the metropolitan area benefits from the accessibility changes as a result of the new system. Significant accessibility increase to areas with high levels of unemployment change in job accessibility 2010 Unemployment rate

33 Where are the gainsrelative to income? Competitive clusters Average Additional Jobs Accessible by Relatively more competitive cluster jobs will be more accessible to lower income TAZs by transit than to higher income neighborhoods 0 9.9% % % % % % % % % % Income Quantile (Based on the tr act that the TAZ falls in) All Non_basic Basic Expanded 33

34 Lessons Improved accessibility through a concentration of jobs and housing in the center Yet, higher payoffs from in job concentration if concentration occurs along transitways. Losses from decentralization is smaller compared increases from centralization. Improvements are more pronounced in low-income area. Implications: Focus on increasing job and residential density in the center. Focus on the transitwaysas guides to where more development should occur (i.e., the Corridors of Opportunities approach) leads to higher payoffs. Seek strategies to easily connect suburban residents to the transitway network Park and ride; Feeder services; Information systems that encourage making the auto-transit connections; Communicate ease of use (PR) 34

35 Future Directions How to ensure improved job accessibility translates to improved employment outcomes for the socioeconomically disadvantaged? Especially when it comes to the competitive cluster jobs. How to achieve job centralization? Feasibility by sector and cluster Spatially targeted economic development programs? Innovations? How to ensure proper commercial/industrial spaces available for businesses willing to locate near transit? 35

36 Project #4: Toward Transit-Oriented Jobs-Housing Balance 50 in-depth interviews with private-sector decision makers explore leveraging points for private sector decision makers to locate near transitways Identify private-public partnership opportunities Demand Management Firms Housing Business Supply Housing Developer Lending Institutions Mezzanine Equity Partners Established Fortune 500 Commercial Developer Startups Lending Institutions Mezzanine Equity Partners

37 Acknowledgement Transitway Impacts Research Program, Center for Transportation Studies, UMN Three foundations McKnight, Surdna, Phillips Family Wonderful research fellows and assistants Andew Guthrie, Nebiyou Tilahun, Chris Berrens, Rose Teng

38 Thank you!

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