Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Salt Lake City was top of the list for transit access of the metropolitan workforce in 90 minutes or less.

Only 27 percent of the metropolitan workforce is able to reach their jobs in 90 minutes or less by transit. But for Salt Lake City, 64 percent of the metro area is available to workers, according to a report byBrookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program.

Salt Lake City's public transit access to employees outshines places like New York, which ranked number 17 on the list, and Washington D.C., which ranked 23 at 33.8 percent, according to the study.

Employers' access in the West top those in the South at reaching employees through transit, said Adie Tomer, Brookings' senior research associate and author of the report. "Also, in many metropolitan areas, the access to labor in cities is much greater than the access to labor in suburbs, because of the older design of transit systems and more modern employer sprawl to the suburbs."

The Utah city of Provo neared the top of the list, ranking number seven with 47 percent access rate, and Ogden followed close behind at 44 percent.

"While metropolitan unemployment rates remain stubbornly high, vacancies do exist across most industries," Tomer said. "Expanding access to larger pools of qualified labor will help fill those positions and improve economic performance. This research can help metropolitan areas more efficiently develop their transit networks and address that access gap."

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