Outer borough jobs up, but transit services lag
by Nathan Tempey
Mar 01, 2011 | 11066 views | 0 0 comments | 228 228 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Job growth is up in the outer boroughs, but so are travel times.

According to a recent study by the non-profit Center for an Urban Future, commuting time has increased for the hundreds of thousands of commuters who live and work outside of Manhattan.

“This report bears out in statistics the concerns we’ve heard again and again from riders we’ve interviewed in Brooklyn and Queens,” said Transportation Alternatives outreach coordinator Moriah Kinberg.

The study found 27 percent more Brooklyn residents commute to an adjacent county than did so in 1990, compared to a 13 percent increase in work trips to Manhattan.

Similarly, the last 20 years have seen a 19 percent increase in commuting within Queens, compared to a ten percent rise in Manhattan-bound travel.

What’s more, the number of commuters who cross the Brooklyn/Queens border for work has increased by 15 percent in the past two decades.

Of the 160,000 people who make the trip each day, only 9 percent use the bus. A majority surveyed would rather travel through Manhattan by subway for an indirect but faster commute.

The report also noted that city buses travel at an average speed of 8 miles-per-hour, among the slowest in the country. But help could come in the form of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system being developed through trial runs in Manhattan and the Bronx. A Nostrand Avenue line is set to open this year.

But the platforms, ticket machines and dedicated lanes that BRT lines require come with their own set of logistical headaches - especially outside of Manhattan.

“Many of the principal corridors in Brooklyn and Queens are not particularly well-suited for high-volume bus service,” said MTA spokesman Charles Seaton, citing Utica Avenue in Brooklyn and Kissena Avenue in Queens as examples.

“Perhaps more troublesome in some parts of the city, is that motorists will not even allow a dialogue on the subject,” he added.

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