Dayton ranked 27th in a just-released study done by the Brookings Institution about how major metro public transportation systems connect residents to workplaces. The study analyzed transit systems in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States to determine which were best at getting people to work in a timely and cost-effective manner.
"The Greater Dayton RTA is proud to say that we rank near the upper tier of transit agencies concerning how broadly our transit system serves area commuters," said Frank Ecklar, director of planning and marketing.
Researchers spent two years creating a data base of the 371 transit providers that operate in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas. The 100 cities studied represent more than 95 percent of all transit passenger miles traveled in the United States.
Brookings researched coverage, service frequency and the percent of total employed residents who can use public transportation and ranked cities based on the most convenient overall commute. The study captured the percent of working-age residents near a transit stop, the median wait in minutes for any rush hour transit vehicle, and the percent of jobs reachable on transit in 90 minutes.
"Providing access to jobs is a critical part of what we strive for at the RTA. Over 60 percent of our riders use the RTA to get to work," Ecklar said.
Cities ranking highest on the list were mostly located in the southwest and included Honolulu, San Jose and Salt Lake City. The bottom ranking cities were mainly located in the east or midwest and included Knoxville, Youngstown and Atlanta.
Ecklar noted that some of the lower ranking cities are affected by varying levels of development sprawl, which expands the distance workers must travel to jobs and creates greater challenges for commuters and transit systems. He noted that, though Dayton also has experienced urban sprawl, ranking 27th among the largest 100 cities is relatively high.
"RTA continues to focus on providing cost-effective access to new job opportunities. As a matter of fact, we will be implementing service connections to the new Caterpillar facility in Clayton and the new Collective Brands facility in Brookville this June," he added.
The report was completed by members of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. According to published information, the Brookings Institution is a private non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. whose mission is "to conduct high quality, independent research and, based on that research, provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public."