Birmingham Ranks Low For Transit Service

A new report ranks Birmingham 90 out of 100 cities on mass transit's ability to connect workers with jobs.

This data comes from the Brookings Institution. It says regardless of the region, people in jobs in cities have better access to transit than their suburban counterparts. There are many places in our area where buses don't go, but the BJCTA says it's working on that.

It's a ride, ten-thousand people in Birmingham count on! For many, it's a lengthy one. Lashonda Mullins says "I get off at 3:30 and I get home at 5:30" A recent report shows in the entire metro area around 13-percent of jobs are reached by transit in under 90 minutes. Only 50-percent of jobs are in neighborhoods with Max service.

Max Rider, Carlos Jones, says "If we had a better bus system, I think a lot of people could get better jobs." He says he never knows what to expect. "Bus is never on time." He'd like to see more routes with better efficiency. "Most of the time, I go an hour early just in case the bus breaks down."

The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority understands the issues. Board of Directors Chairman, Patrick Sellers, says "The cities that rank higher are those metro cities that buy into transit, they have state funding, they have better resources." A reason why sellers says consultants are now on board to redefine services and lower wait time, plus they're reaching out to areas without service. "It's an economic engine, so every dollar that is spent buying into transit for that municipality is a 7 or 8 dollar return."

Sellers says the{}BJCTA has been meeting with several areas like Trussville, Adamsville and Hueytown, which do not have service.