Cincinnati Light Rail: Worse for Low-Income and Disadvantaged Population

The OKI "2030 Plan" outlines the impact of future transportation improvements on low-income and other disadvantaged populations ("Environmental Justic Populations"). The following is taken from pages 16-1 and 16-2 of the "2030 Plan:"

    The definition (as applicable to 1990 census data) of each EJ population is as follows:

    Minority: people of African, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian or Alaskan Native origin

    Low income: income for a family of four less than or equal to $12,674 (according to national poverty guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services for 1990)

    Elderly: aged 65 or older

    Disabled: people with a mobility limitation, self-care limitation, or people with both mobility and self-care limitations (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau)

    Zero car households: households without access to a vehicle

On average, only 29 percent of jobs in the Cincinnati area will be within a 40 minute transit ride for Environmental Justice Populations (calculated from the average of the categories for 2030 with light rail). In 1995 32 percent of jobs were available within a 40 minute transit ride.

By comparison, 97 percent of jobs were within a 20 mile automobile ride for Environmental Justice Populations. This figure is expected to decline to 86.1 percent in 2030. While OKI does not provide comparable data for a 20 minute transit ride, it would appear that in 1995 approximately 16 percent of jobs were within a 20 minute ride for Environmental Justice Populations, and that the figure would decline to approximately 15 percent by 2030.

    1995 2030: No LIght Rail 2030: With Light Rail
1 Transit Access to Jobs within 40 Minutes 32.2% 28.2% 29.2%
  Compared to 1995   -12.5% -9.3%
  Compared to No Light Rail     3.6%
2 Estimate: Transit Access to Jobs within 20 Minutes 16.1% 14.1% 14.6%
3 Exhibit: Auto Access to Jobs within 40 Minutes 96.9% 86.1% 86.1%
Line 1: Average of categories in Table 16-6      
Line 2: One-half Line 1 assumed      
Line 3: Average of categories in Table 16-7      

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