Transportation and Poverty in Monroe County - How Land Use, Job Locations and Commuting Options Affect Access to Jobs
CGR was engaged by Reconnect Rochester to explore the relationship between residence patterns, employment, transportation, and poverty in Rochester and Monroe County. CGR analyzed settlement, demographic, transportation and employment data to explore how changing patterns of residential settlement, locations of jobs and transportation options have collectively affected the ability of people, especially low-income people to access employment. This analysis included both broad demographic explorations and specific GIS modeling to explore the accessibility of jobs from various neighborhoods within the city of Rochester. Our analysis found that the state of the transportation options in Monroe County and Rochester pose an equity issue for the community, both in terms of race and income. Drivers (who are whiter and wealthier than transit riders) face easy commutes and a wide access to jobs. Those who ride the bus face very long commutes and limited access to jobs. Given these differences, the transportation system writ large reinforces the disparities that already exist in the community rather than helping to reduce them.