Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks 10th in the nation for the number of jobs that workers can get to by car, according to new research out Wednesday from the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory.
The latest edition of the annual Access Across America study found that the average worker traveling by car can get to more than 976,000 jobs in the metro area within 30 minutes.
That number drops by 15 percent when drives during peak periods take longer than a half-hour, according to the study.
The U research looks at the impact that congestion has on workers’ ability to access jobs in the 50 most populated metro areas in the United States. The Twin Cities ranked 26th when it came to the number of jobs lost due to congestion.
Total employment in the Twin Cities stands at about 1.745 million, which ranks 14th in the country.
“This suggests that job accessibility is influenced less by congestion here than in other cities,” said lead researcher Andrew Owen.
Larger cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and San Jose, Calif., had the highest number of jobs that drivers could reach in 30 minutes, according to the study. Other cities in the top 10 included Houston, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix.
Not surprising was that some of the nation’s largest and traffic-clogged cities such as Los Angeles; Riverside, Calif.; San Francisco; New York and Boston led the way in the number of jobs that drivers could not get to due to congestion. Also on the list were Chicago; San Jose; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta and Seattle.
The study used 2016 data and looked at a number of factors, including the number of jobs, road network, traffic management practices, population size, density, locations of jobs and options to take alternative transportation.
Travel times were calculated using road network and speed data that reflected typical conditions at 8 a.m. on Wednesdays and compared those conditions with those at 4 a.m. to measure the impact of congestion on job accessibility.
The car remains king, as more than 86 percent of commuting trips are made using a personal vehicle.
Conducted annually since 2013, the observatory’s research was sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and supported by the Federal Highway Administration and 10 other state transportation departments.