As New Yorkers, it’s our god-given right to complain about the subway. It’s late, smells weird, keep breaking down, smells rank, is run by the Rat King’s army of rodent thugs, and oh sweet lord the smell’s getting stronger. The whole getting you from place to place thing is nice though, and as this study from the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management suggests, plays a huge role in your chances of gainful employment.
Neighborhoods were ranked according to the number of jobs a person could get to in a 60 minute commute using public transportation, and the results are pretty dramatic. If you live in Chelsea, the top ranking neighborhood, you theoretically have access to 4.8 million jobs, while living in South Staten Island gives you access to just 42,000. The Rudin Center also published an interactive map feature that lets you see how your zip code ranks for job access in the city. Areas along our buddy the G train did fairly well, which makes sense since for all the delays you have to put up with, Greenpoint, Williamsburg and Bed-Stuy are still quite close to Manhattan.
It makes sense that people’s access to jobs is largely a function of their access to public transit, especially if it means the hours you can work are limited by how late your bus is running. The report urges policymakers to consider the role of public transit infrastructure plays in increasing job opportunities for New Yorkers, especially those in areas that just can’t get any love from the MTA. That means adding bus rapid transit to areas without trains and creating incentives for businesses to allow their employees to work remotely when possible. This is all a long-winded way of us telling you to go out and hug your local subway rat, for his kin have helped advance your career…sort of.