Residents Driving Farther to Get to Work

Jun 8, 2015

A new report issued by the Brookings Institute has found that the number of jobs near the average resident has decreased by 10.7 percent from 2000 to 2012. In clearer terms, Denver area residents are having to travel farther to get to the office.

The report analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data to identify the number of jobs available close to where people live. It defines “close” as less than the distance a typical commuter travels in a given metro area to get to work. In metro Denver, that’s 8.5 miles.

The report ranks the Denver-Lakewood-Aurora area 76th out of 96 major metros, with 1st meaning the most close-in jobs and 90th meaning the fewest.

Metro Denver now has fewer close-in jobs than it used to have. The area had 340,917 jobs available close to peoples’ residences in 2000, but that dropped to 304,287 in 2012.

This is an issue with which the completion of RTD’s sprawling, 122-mile FasTracks rail-transit expansion may assist.

One example of local efforts to spur use of alternative modes of transportation is the completion of the $480 million Denver Union Station transportation hub that will connect downtown Denver with Denver International Airport, some 23 miles away.

Officials across the nation have pointed to Denver’s transportation build-out as a model for other cities.

It’s also crucial to attracting millennials, a push Denver has had to make, as more and more are flocking here drawn by the urban lifestyle coupled with the outdoorsy environment nearby.

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