EBP, in partnership with Foursquare ITP, developed the Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority’s (ATL) fourth Annual Report and Audit (ARA) to document transit performance and communicate the value of transit in the 13-county Atlanta metro area.
The ATL relies on the ARA to identify key trends across the region in transit service and performance and to communicate with stakeholders and elected officials about the value of and need for sustained transit investment. Building on work established in the prior ARAs, EBP continued in 2022 to analyze and document the regional benefits and economic impacts of transit in the Atlanta region, including jobs and business activity supported by transit operations and capital expenditures and the environmental benefits of avoided emissions due to transit.
New in the 2022 ARA, EBP evaluated how well transit connects businesses and workers. We found that the average employer in one of the region’s business centers could be reached within 45 minutes by 3% of all potential workers and 18% of all potential workers from zero-car households. The region's economic success depends on the ability of businesses to access a qualified workforce. At a time when employers are struggling to hire and maintain workers, further breaking down transportation barriers is key.
EBP also examined how access varies across business centers with different levels of telecommuting potential—based on the occupational composition of each center’s workforce. We discovered that business centers with the highest telework potential actually had the greatest transit access, whereas the centers with the lowest levels of ability to work from home had access to 40% fewer workers by fixed-route transit. Examining the impact of telecommuting on transit planning will be important for the region going forward.
Finally, EBP evaluated the impacts of cost inflation in industries that support transit operations. Based on the pace of inflation, the ATL region must increase transit investments to continue the level of service provided today.