The suburbanization of jobs means public transportation is not an option for many workers.

The Brookings Institution found only two-thirds of jobs in the Rochester metropolitan region are in places served by buses. Even worse, fewer than one-third of residents can get to a job within 90 minutes on a bus. The study found people have an easier time getting to jobs in the city than in the suburbs.

Brookings did a similar study last year showing the disconnect between public transit and jobs. If people don’t have access to jobs, they their options for employment and upward mobility are limited. Companies also risk not having access to a wider pool of labor.

The Rochester Genesee Transportation Authority has worked with suburban employers on routes. Some companies and nursing homes pay RGRTA a share of the cost. But RGRTA has been clear that if a route isn’t economically feasible, it won’t run. That’s provoked a lot of criticism from riders, but RGRTA is also solidly running in the black and has maintained fares at $1.

The authors recommend locating jobs in denser areas and improving access to suburban jobs. The study also suggests incentivizing companies to locate in areas served by public transit. Government and business should talk about jobs access when relocation issues come up.

Links of the Day:

- Leo Roth brings up an old debate (if you listen to Bob Matthews’ show) about whether Rochester has too many sports teams. If the market will bear these teams, who cares?

- A former state lawmaker says Cuomo should go for it in 2016.

- Take note, Rochester Police Department. Courts are increasingly skeptical of “stop and frisk,” also known as “Cool Down.”

- This might be the most obnoxious thing you read today. A young woman laments being so successful so young. And her idol is Carrie Bradshaw. Don’t worry, baby, your hard times will come.

- Last night I struck up a conversation with a British man who says he holds the patent on armored underwear worn by soldiers. The items are made by people with disabilities at the Seneca Army Depot. Who knew?

Posted in News | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

17 Responses to Jobs Miss the Bus

  1. July 11, 2012 at 6:55 pm Douglas A. Fisher responds:

    The Eastview Mall area stores in Victor total over a million square feet of shopping space. They are all open on Sunday, and collectively constitute one of the region’s larger employers.

    Yet several years ago the bus company cancelled its Sunday service there, which had also served the major commercial center at Routes 31 & 250.

    Many workers in those locations who took the bus from Rochester to work and then back home were unable to continue their Sunday employment at any of those stores.

    So do we have a “Transit Service” or a “Transportation Authority” ?

  2. July 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm rob scharf responds:

    Ms. Barnhart,

    This hits home big time. Thank you. Iv’e always been a fan and user of RTS, but in my current job search it is not adequate. More companies have moved to the burbs and they need the workers. As I see it the city and the burbs need to work together to ease this situation. It takes 4 hours to get from Gates to Henrietta. In good weather I can ride my bike there in an hour which is ok. I don’t want to even consider how long it would take to get to Webster. I’m in a bit of a pinch currently because I chose to use public trasportation. Bring back the subway and add more busses to the burbs. They won’t make up the cost on riders but the city and tows can make it up in taxes. As I see it this is a stupid accounting issue.

  3. July 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm lee drake responds:

    This isn’t about public transportation it’s about a rotting city core

  4. July 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm Ginny B responds:

    I had the same reaction to the Leo Roth piece. Unless the taxpayers are subsidizing, it seemed a little like saying “we have too many pizza places in town…”.

  5. July 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm eduardo ricardo responds:

    The City is growing though. In one ways, no turn on red’s and red light camera’s. You’d be safer on a bus.

    Too bad that is not a feasable option for any working class person. I love buses. I hate waiting for one.

  6. The bus company is creating a form of segregation between the city and the burbs. My son has a job in penfield at 250 & 441. The buses that run in the morning would either get him there 3hours a head of time or a half hour late and forget about coming home after work at7pm there’s nothing. When Xerox created 500 jobs I was wondering if any city folks got one if they didn’t have a car. In a county the size of Monroe transportation should not be a problem. But powers that be don’t want city people in their towns if the truth be known.

    • July 12, 2012 at 7:34 am Orielly responds:

      FUNNY … MCC Damon Downtown Campus, un needed and a waste of tax money also fosters two segregated campus’s but “city folk” would be up in arms if it was closed and all students forced to go to one campus. Hows that work?

  7. July 12, 2012 at 7:29 am Orielly responds:

    A few facts.
    Eastview Mall is not a major employer in this county. There are far more “jobs” on route 96 in businesses, leading to Eastiew, who are closed on the weekends. Hence the bus does not run for the one day.

    There is not a conspiracy between suburban towns and the RGTA to limit bus traffic to keep city people from coming to the burbs.

    Most people that have a job have a car.

    Business locate to where it makes the most business sense to them to appeal to their customers or financial reasons first. They figure their employees will find a way to get to work.

    Leo Roth’s column was really a complaint about too much work he and fellow sports writers have covering all these teams. We saw complaints by many of the “sports guys” about having two baseball teams here this year. Forget about the people those teams employ or entertain, its too much work for the sports writers.

  8. Are we seriously blaming the bus system when employers have made the decision to locate their jobs in hard-to-get-to places? The bus system worked LONG AND HARD to turn that tax-payer funded operation around… It’s one of the few stories I can point to and say “job well done” in the public sector. They should not be criticized for decisions they have no control over.

    If employers want cheap labor, they need to put the jobs where people without cars can get to them.. And that’s NOT an office park in Henrietta. It’s fairly simple.

  9. July 12, 2012 at 10:29 am Peking Humonculous responds:

    “The bus company is creating a form of segregation between the city and the burbs.”

    Oh give me a break with this garbage! First Wegmans is supposedly racist for closing stores in the city, now this? Pull off your racist colored glasses. Not everything is the result of racism and businesses have a right (and a duty) to do what is economically feasible and will allow their businesses to grow.

  10. July 12, 2012 at 11:30 am VIncenzo responds:

    The bottom line is the bus routes are totally obsolete. To my knowledge they have not changed in structure since it was necessary for people to get downtown. What we need is a system of cross town busses that will take me from my home in henrietta to Eastview mall without having to go downtown first. Lets face it, most people are traveling from suburb to suburb for work or leisure so it is only practical to have busses that can provide us with that capability. They way the city is structured is not going to change, so public transit should be adapting in order to survive.

    • July 13, 2012 at 12:02 am Orielly responds:

      A few more facts Vincenzo.

      The RGTA has been well run for the last 8yrs with exceptional customer satisfaction numbers.. don’t believe me look it up. They have added routes, included bike racks, upgraded buses, cut prices and simplified transfers.
      If the bus routes were “totally obsolete” revenue and customer satisfaction would never be so high.

      They don’t have the route you want…. to ideas ..take a cab or buy a car. Do you also want a route directly to your gramas house?

      • July 14, 2012 at 10:20 pm VIncenzo responds:

        I don’t doubt that revenue and customer satisfaction are not high for current riders. The vehicles themselves are of course up to date. My reasoning for my comment was to gain new riders. If you think I am just attacking the system you are missing the point. Rochester ranks 50th in the country in ridership out of cities of 100,000+ inhabitants. My thought with the addition of crosstown lines or a simple loop to get you to a suburb east or west of you would encourage greater ridership, and could possibly lower transit times.

  11. July 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm Mittens responds:

    Yeah, but it’s ok. We’re such a car centric society here in Rochester that everybody owns a car!

  12. July 13, 2012 at 4:48 am lynn e responds:

    That has been true for many many years. I graduated from college in the early 80s when there was a recession and I lived in the city and didn’t have a car. I was limited in the jobs I could get and worked several part time jobs shuffling between them with bus, walking and rides. My first full time job was in Henrietta on Lehigh Station Rd. My family basically gave me their old car and leased another one. You do notice that nursing homes all have bus service though and it is not for the ease of the residents. So businesses that want employees without cars, they can negotiate bus service.

  13. I live 3-1/2 miles from work. I can walk to Culver Road (in the city), then it’s straight down Culver Road to Irondequoit and a very short walk down E. Ridge to where I work. There is no bus.

    I’d have to go downtown, stand on a street corner, then take a bus through the inner city to get to work. 90 minutes!

    Buses should go up and down the main drags. Passengers can then figure out how to get somewhere easily. I’ve lived in Rochester my whole life, but I can’t figure out where these buses go by the street names on the front!

  14. Pingback: Are We Ready to Talk Sprawl? » The Rochesterian

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