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New report: Low-income people must be included in mass transit plans

Just out from the NC Budget and Tax Center:

MEDIA RELEASE: Low-income North Carolinians’ needs must be at forefront of public transit plans
Plans should evaluate where low-income individuals – transit’s most reliable customers – live and work

RALEIGH (December 12, 2012) – The success of new and expanded transit in North Carolina will be largely dependent on how well the transit system retains and reaches its most reliable customers – low-income North Carolinians – according to a new report.

Policymakers across North Carolina are moving forward with plans to expand public-transit options, including additional bus services and the development of commuter and light rail, but such plans must take into account where low-income North Carolinians live and work in order to succeed and provide for residents, said a new report from the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Investing in public transportation helps connect North Carolinians to education, employment, and social networks that can improve their economic standing, but it’s only helpful if transit connects where individuals live to where opportunities are available.

North Carolina’s public transportation system will be more successful if it’s easily accessible by those who regularly use and depend on it, particularly low-income North Carolinians, the report added. Sixty-seven percent of the state’s workers commuting by public transit had annual incomes below $25,000 last year, the report said, and the share of low-income workers commuting by transit increased by nearly 11 percent from 2010 to 2011.

Read the report (“Transit’s Most Reliable Customers – Why Considering the Needs of Low-Income Populations Improves Public Transit”) by clicking here.

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