TJCOG Study Analyzes Commuter Rail Impact on Job Connectivity

A newly released travel analysis by TJCOG looked at where workers live, residents work, and the impact of the Greater Triangle Commuter Rail Project on neighborhood connectivity to key job centers. The report found that the rail corridor runs through eight of the region's top 10 employment centers and that 30% of all jobs in Wake, Durham, Johnston and Orange counties are within a mile of the rail corridor. “The line runs where people are already going cross county to work and where 12 of 15 proposed station areas have a high concentration of low-income people or those who lack cars, are near a job center or both", explained TJCOG Metropolitan Planning Director John Hodges-Copple. "The rail corridor seems to do a good job of serving what we think are important travel markets.”
 
The TJCOG travel analysis is part of the last study phase for the Greater Triangle Commuter Rail Project. Governing boards will use the TJCOG information to help decide this year whether to build the transformative transit project.
 
Notable Findings
  • More than 96,000 people live in Wake or Durham county and commute to the other to work, the largest number of cross-county commuters in the state.
  • There were 930,000 jobs in Johnston, Wake, Durham and Orange counties pre-COVID. About 280,000or 30 percent of all jobs in the region are within a mile of the rail corridor.
  • Of all the primary jobs in those four counties that pay less than $40,000 a year, 23 percent are within the corridor.
  • About 70,000 people live in REINVEST neighborhoods that are completely or partly in the rail corridor, especially near central and southeast Durham, central and southeast Raleigh and Garner.
  • Of the initial 15 station study areas, 12 of them overlap a key job hub, a top-tier REINVEST neighborhood or both. People who live in REINVEST neighborhoods are also most likely to take transit so the project would greatly benefit them.