Winning (or Losing) the Jobs Accessibility Challenge?

Posted on September 15, 2014 in: In the NewsStudyTraffic Congestion

For our region to be attractive to business, businesses must be able to attract workers.

In a recent study* of automobile commute times of 51 metropolitan areas across the country, the Washington, DC region ranked 7th overall in accessibility to jobs.


When examined more closely, the Nation’s Capital only ranked well in jobs reachable by long commutes of 30, 40, 50 or 60 minutes (6th, 4th, 7th and 7th respectively). The region scored less well amongst comparable metro areas in available shorter commutes of 10 or 20 minutes (16th and 15th respectively).

The study also found that today over two-thirds of our region’s jobs are reachable only by auto commutes of 40 minutes or greater. (Note: On average transit commutes are considerably more time consuming than auto commutes.)

This is true to a great extent because most area residents live outside the Capital Beltway where transportation network capacity has not kept up with growth and much of the planned regional network remains incomplete.

The study concludes that to a great extent regions can improve job accessibility by

  • Locating jobs closer together and closer to where most workers live
  • Eliminating bottlenecks by adding capacity
  • Building better, more time-efficient transportation connections between major activity centers

In short —

Remaining Economically Competitive
Requires a Regional Transportation Framework that Brings Workers Closer to Jobs

*Access Across America by David Levinson, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota