New Study Finds Longer Commute Times Tied To Higher Poverty Levels Along Woodhaven Bus Rapid Transit Corridor

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BRT would reduce transportation deserts, which limit access to jobs, education, and healthcare

May 28, 2015 (New York, NY) – The BRT For NYC coalition, a group of labor unions, advocates, and business associations supporting Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), announced the findings of a new study analyzing commuter patterns along the Woodhaven Bus Rapid Transit corridor. The study finds that along the Woodhaven/Cross Bay Bus Rapid Transit Corridor longer commute times are associated with higher poverty levels.
Living in transportation deserts limits access to jobs, education, and health care, which increases income inequality and harms quality of life. The implementation of BRT on the Woodhaven/Cross Bay bus corridor would reduce commute times and increase opportunity for tens of thousands of New Yorkers.
In all, at least 86,598 people along the corridor live below the poverty level and at least 59,781 people have a commute greater than 60 minutes. The study shows that in some areas along the corridor, over 15% of the population lives below the poverty line, according to recent Census figures, and nearly 30% of the population commutes more than an hour. Of those, 28% have commutes greater than 90 minutes. Woodhaven Boulevard includes several senior centers and public housing.
By creating dedicated lanes for Bus Rapid Transit on our most vital major streets, the City can increase the speed and reliability of bus service for New Yorkers who depend on it,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “A comprehensive Bus Rapid Transit network would benefit New Yorkers who live in areas with little or no subway service by giving them faster and easier connections to existing and emerging employment and education centers.”
An earlier study from the Pratt Center for Community Development also found that two-thirds of the New York City residents who commute at least an hour to work earn less than $35,000 a year. BRT has been proven to increase bus speeds and reliability by building a bus-only lane along medians, reduce congestion for motorists, and increase pedestrian safety for all.
“Bus Rapid Transit is absolutely critical for New York City’s most vulnerable residents who depend on public transportation to get to their jobs,” said Riders Alliance Executive Director John Raskin. “All New Yorkers should have sufficient access to public transportation and an equitable, reliable, safe, and affordable way to commute to work.”
About the BRT for NYC Steering Committee

Launched in 2014, the BRT For NYC Steering Committee is comprised of the Association for a Better New York, Pratt Center for Community Development, Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign, Transportation Alternatives, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, TWU Local 100, Working Families Party, New York League of Conservation Voters, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, The Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, Common Ground, Fifth Avenue Committee, Mothers on the Move, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, New York Immigration Coalition, Restaurant Opportunities Center for New York (ROC-NY), Rockaway Youth Task Force, and WE ACT for Environmental Justice. Please visit www.brtfornyc.com for more information.

View the BRT Commute Time Poverty Map here

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