WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Length Of Commute Linked To Education, Income Levels

Play associated audio
On average, low and mid-income workers have to spend more of their time traveling to work than their high-income, educated counterparts.
Scott Pitocco: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lightsoutphotos/4331800230/
On average, low and mid-income workers have to spend more of their time traveling to work than their high-income, educated counterparts.

The easiest commutes in the Washington metro area have a lot to do with your job skills and ability to pay for housing. That's according to a new report released by the Brookings Institution.

Researcher Nicole Prchal Svajlenka says the region is quite good at connecting workers to jobs, but the more educated you are, the more jobs you'll be able to reach within a typical 45 to 90 minute commute.

"If a person is low-skilled, they can reach about 62 percent of jobs they can likely fill," says Svajlenka, as compared to high-skill workers, who can reach about 72 percent of jobs they're likely to be able to fill. "That's because of the way jobs are distributed in the region. The high-skilled job are highly-concentrated in the core, and low-skilled are dispersed more evenly about the region."

Svajlenka says living near the best transportation options can be costly.

"Low-skill and mid-skill workers are priced out of neighborhoods with high transit coverage," says Svajlenka.

The study recommends that planning and investment for jobs, housing and transportation should be considered together.

"We should focus on housing, economic and community development around transit stations, especially underutilized Metro stations," says Svajlenka.

That would include most of the Green Line stations in Prince George's County.


'Not Without My Daughter' Subject Grows Up, Tells Her Own Story

"Not Without My Daughter" told the story of an American mother and daughter fleeing Iran. Now that young girl is telling her own story in her memoir, "My Name is Mahtob."

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.

Proposed Climate Change Rules At Odds With U.S. Opponents

President Obama says the U.S. must lead the charge to reduce burning of fossil fuels. But American lawmakers are divided on limiting carbon emissions and opponents say they'll challenge any new rules.

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.