NEW YORK, NY – Historically low-income New York City neighborhoods have made significant employment gains partly as a result of subway revitalization over the past few decades. But those gains could stagnate unless officials invest in expanded transportation services, a new report finds.
In her study, “New York’s Economic Future Rides on Its Subways,” Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Nicole Gelinas, CFA, notes that in neighborhoods such as the South Bronx, Bushwick and Central Harlem, residents have benefitted disproportionately from better subway service starting in the 1980s. As New Yorkers living in these areas have joined the labor force and increased their incomes, they have relied on subway service more than residents in wealthier neighborhoods do to get to work.
Gelinas argues that to protect those gains and secure future gains, elected officials and policymakers at both the state and city level must invest, and invest wisely, in additional subway, bus, ferry and other transit capacity.
- New York’s once-poorest neighborhoods, where joblessness and estrangement from the working world was the norm, have added record numbers of people to the labor force since 1990, and these new workers are disproportionately dependent on the subway to get them to and from work.
- The subways are both a cause and an effect of New York’s labor-market boom. Without subways, New Yorkers would not have such a wide choice of employment options, and without such employment options, New Yorkers would not be taking the subways.
- Though the city’s overall population has grown 15% since 1990, its overall workforce has grown by 22%. In the Bronx and Brooklyn, though, the city’s workforce grew at much faster rates.