On Tuesday, the New York City Council’s Transportation Committee held a hearing titled “Keeping Up with the Boroughs—Addressing Public Transit Needs Outside Manhattan,” that was prompted by the Center’s 2011 Behind the Curb report. Our study concluded that New York City’s public transit service has not kept pace with recent job growth and transit ridership gains. The Center’s research director, David Giles, testified at the hearing, calling on the city’s Department of Transportation and the MTA to step up its investment in transit service outside of Manhattan, with a specific focus on expanding and improving bus service.
Among other things, our report, which was funded by the JM Kaplan Fund, documented that over the past two decades, the number of outer borough residents who travel to work either within their own borough, or to another outer borough (for instance, from Staten Island to Brooklyn or from the Bronx to Queens), has been increasing much faster than the number who make the more traditional trip into Manhattan. For instance, the report found:
Between 1990 and 2008, the number of Staten Island residents who travel to work in their own borough increased by 32 percent while those going to Brooklyn or New Jersey increased by 22percent. During the same period, the number of Staten Islanders commuting to work in Manhattan barely changed at all—a four percent increase in those 18 years.
Between 1990 and 2008 the number of Bronx residents who travel to Queens or Westchester County for work grew by 38 percent and the number who travel inside the borough jumped by
The number of Brooklyn residents traveling to Queens grew by 32 percent since 1990, compared to a 13 per cent increase in commuters going to Manhattan.