BY HONOLULUTRAFFIC.COM – Wendell Cox, of Demographia, has just published a study of transit commuting across income groups. He finds a surprising result. Here are a few paragraphs:
“One of the most frequently recurring justifications for densification policies (smart growth, growth management, livability, etc.) lies with the assumption that the automobile-based mobility system (Note 1) disadvantages lower income citizens. Much of the solution, according to advocates of densification is to discourage driving and orient both urbanization and the urban transportation system toward transit as well as walking and cycling.
“Of course, there is no question but that lower income citizens are disadvantaged with respect to just about everything economic. However, there are few ways in which lower income citizens are more disadvantaged than in their practical access to work and to amenities by means of transit, walking and cycling. Indeed, the impression that lower income citizens rely on transit to a significantly greater degree than everyone else is just that – an impression.
“Perhaps most surprising is the fact that only 9.6% of lower income citizens used transit to get to work. This is not very much higher than the 7.9% of all workers in the metropolitan areas who use transit.”