Jobs Reachable by Number of Minutes in 49 U.S. Metropolitan Areas

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According to the American Community Survey, 76.4% of commuters drive alone to work, and only 5% use mass transit. New York City has by far the biggest share that commutes by mass transit — around 30% of workers make use of the city’s extensive mass transit system. So it’s perhaps no wonder that New York City offers the most jobs with short commutes. With the nationwide average commute to work clocking in around 26 minutes, a 10-minute journey sounds like a dream come true! Here are the top 10 cities with the most jobs within a 10-minute ride on mass transit:

  1. New York, New York — 6,132 jobs
  2. San Francisco, California — 2,773 jobs
  3. Chicago, Illinois — 1,765 jobs
  4. Boston, Massachusetts — 1,569 jobs
  5. Seattle, Washington — 1,478
  6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — 1,337
  7. Washington, D.C. — 1,324
  8. Los Angeles, California — 1,246
  9. Denver, Colorado — 820
  10. Portland, Oregon — 819

The data has been compiled by the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory. This study analyzed accessibility to jobs by mass transit in 49 of the 50 most populated metropolitan areas in America. Mass transit includes both walking and public transportation for the purposes of this study, and it excludes solo driving, taxis, or carpooling. Travel times were calculated during the peak commute time between 7 and 9 a.m.

Andrew Owne, the director of the Observatory, stated that “transit is an essential transportation service for many Americans, and we directly compare the accessibility performance of America’s largest metropolitan areas.”

What about jobs within 20 minutes? Many of us would be happy with such a commute. Here are the top 10 cities with the most jobs within a 20-minute mass-transit trip:

  1. New York, New York — 62,161
  2. San Francisco, California — 25,965
  3. Chicago, Illinois — 15,515
  4. Washington, D.C. — 12,775
  5. Boston, Massachusetts — 12,461
  6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — 11,406
  7. Los Angeles, California — 10,266
  8. Seattle, Washington — 9,530
  9. Denver, Colorado — 6,136
  10. Portland, Oregon — 5,785

Overall, here are the top 10 cities with the greatest job accessibility by mass transit based on a weighed average (combining 10-minute, 20-minute, 30-minute, 40-minute, 50-minute, and 60-minute transit times). Key factors that affect the rankings include the number of jobs and their locations, the availability and coordination of transit service, population size, density, and housing.

  1. New York, New York
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Boston, Massachusetts
  6. Los Angeles, California
  7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  8. Seattle, Washington
  9. San Jose, California
  10. Denver, Colorado

While New York may always reign supreme in terms of transit accessibility, other major cities are striving to improve job availability for commuters who walk or take public transportation. Here are the top 10 cities that have shown the most improvement within a year:

  1. Kansas City, Kansas (+17.36%)
  2. Charlotte, North Carolina (+10.81%)
  3. Austin, Texas (+9.76%)
  4. Columbus, Ohio (+8.99%)
  5. San Francisco, California (+8.72%)
  6. Orlando, Florida (+7.88%)
  7. Las Vegas, Nevada (+7.68%)
  8. Phoenix, Arizona (+7.31%)
  9. Minneapolis, Minnesota (+7.01%)
  10. Cincinnati, Ohio (+6.78%)

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