Lightrail on campus

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (06/12/2015) – New analysis from the University of Minnesota Accessibility Observatory quantifies an increase in access to jobs since the Green Line LRT and related bus network changes debuted a year ago. The study measured residents’ ability to reach jobs by transit in Minneapolis and St. Paul before and after the Green Line began service on June 14, 2014.

“A year after the opening of the Green Line, workers in St. Paul can, on average, reach over 2,000 more jobs within 30 minutes by transit than they could previously—a 5.3 percent increase. In locations near Green Line stations and connecting transit routes, accessibility often increased by over 50 percent, and in a few locations more than doubled,” according to Andrew Owen, director of the Observatory. “Changes were greatest in St. Paul, where most of the Green Line’s stations are located.”

In Minneapolis, changes were minor, and in most cases were due to service or schedule changes unrelated to the Green Line project.

For the analysis, researchers evaluated accessibility for three scenarios and measured the number of jobs that can be reached by transit within 30 minutes of travel between 7 and 9 a.m. from each census block in St. Paul and Minneapolis. The results suggest that had the Green Line been implemented without any supporting changes to the regional bus network, accessibility benefits would have been limited to areas near the new rail stations.

The analysis was sponsored by the U of M Center for Transportation Studies and the U of M Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering.