Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Job Accessibility by Car


About the measures

Job accessibility can be an important consideration for people when choosing where to live and their mode or route of travel. Multimodal accessibility measures evaluate how easily people can reach destinations by car, transit, and bicycle. MnDOT tracks how many jobs can be reached within 30 minutes by car for the average adult driver in Minnesota with a low or medium level of traffic stress. MnDOT also tracks the measure by Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). MPOs are entities designated by law with the lead responsibility for developing transportation plans and coordinating the transportation planning process for metropolitan areas with over 50,000 people. Minnesota has eight MPOs.

Recent trends

Between 2017 and 2021 (the most recent data available), the average number of jobs accessible for Minnesotans within 30-minute drive by personal motor vehicle increased from 580,390 to 844,817. The increase in 2021 is due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic which reduced peak period commuting traffic. Decreased delay and congestion, especially at morning and evening commute times, resulted in higher accessibility to jobs. The average number of jobs accessible within a 30-minutes by car, transit, or by bicycle on low and medium stress routes differs across the across the state when comparing MPOs. In 2021, the Metropolitan Council, which covers the Twin Cities metropolitan area, had the largest number of jobs accessible by automobile within 30 minutes. Every other MPO had significantly lower numbers of jobs accessible. However, the differences in job access across MPOs reflects differences in land use, population density, travel impedances, job opportunities, and multimodal transportation options.

Where we want to go

Job accessibility is a key measure to understand the multimodal transportation network in Minnesota and changes due to a variety of factors including land use, job location, transportation networks, and scheduling. Access to other key destinations such as grocery stores, hospitals, and schools can also be used to understand the multimodal network impacts. MnDOT is currently developing and implementing multimodal accessibility analysis to better understand how the transportation network impacts access to key destinations.

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