RideKC Development Corp. Connects Employers and Workers

RideKC Development Corp. Connects Employers and Workers

The RideKC Development Corp. evaluated a development to see how accessible it was to workers, and how it could be more so.

Objective

The RideKC Development Corp., as the economic development agency within the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, works to create more sustainable economies by connecting public transportation and development. After a global retail company chose a new site to build a facility for 2,000+ jobs for local workers, RideKC DC was asked to assess how potential workers might access these jobs by transit.  

Challenge

RideKC DC needed to examine a few key questions: Where are workers available? Do they have access to vehicles? Where are existing transit lines available in relation to where residents live and work? 

Datasets like these are sparse and disparate, which makes compiling and analyzing very tedious for any agency; as RideKC DC has only three full-time employees with jurisdictional coverage spanning seven counties, obtaining data to support a project like this has historically been next to impossible.

Solution

Using workforce and resident data in Replica’s Places tool, RideKC DC quickly discovered that over 50% of the county’s population wasn’t in the labor force at all. These new jobs would need to source workers from farther away. A brief evaluation of existing transit routes in Places showed that the majority of potential workers would likely come from areas that aren’t sufficiently connected by public transportation. 

Key insight & impact

Understanding where residents live and work, and gaining a broader view of their economic circumstances, can inform better development and transportation decisions. Because the retail company had already committed to its location, it had to make jobs more accessible or risk abandoning the site after already beginning development. RideKC DC was able to explore alternate transit solutions that still sourced workers as locally as possible, that expanded opportunities for other existing businesses along the routes, and that gave residents better access to more jobs and childcare options near work.

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