A new University of Minnesota study, Access Across America, looked at accessibility to jobs by car at cities during peak times in the morning for 51 metropolitan areas to try and determine which cities are performing well in terms of accessibility and which have seen the greatest change.
To generate the rankings for this study, Levinson created a weighted average of accessibility, giving a higher weight to closer jobs. Jobs reachable within 10 minutes are weighted most heavily, and then jobs are given decreasing weight as travel time increases up to 60 minutes.
Based on this measure, the 10 metro areas that provide the greatest average accessibility to jobs are Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Jose, Washington, Dallas, Boston, and Houston.
Top 10 accessible metro areas (2010)
David Levinson, the R.P. Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation Engineering at the University of Minnesota, says the study shows “there are two ways for cities to improve accessibility–by making transportation faster and more direct or by increasing the density of activities, such as locating jobs closer together and closer to workers. While neither of these things can easily be shifted overnight, they can make a significant impact over the long term.”
Here’s a cool map on the research: