Chart of the Day: Income vs Public Transit Access

Here’s a chart from a  article on the relationship between Uber and public transit in New York City, via the incomparable fivethirtyeight blog. I recommend the whole thing, but the key part of the argument centers around this grid comparing income to transit access:

income versus transit access chart

Here’s how the author describes the chart:

Put another way: Given the high fixed costs of vehicle ownership, the first and most important transportation choice a New York household makes is whether to own a car. Residents who go without a car may use some combination of public transit, taxis, Ubers and other alternatives (like bicycling and carpooling) to get where they need to go. In that sense, Ubers, taxis and public transit are complements to one another instead of competitors.

But transportation options are also constrained by a commuter’s income. Our data suggests that we might place New Yorkers into about five broad categories, based on their income and ease of access to public transit.

Now these categories are specific to New York City, a unique American city to be sure. But could you make the same kind of “broad outcomes” chart for someone in the Twin Cities? If so, what would it look like?

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.