One issue we’ve been working on over the past several years is getting lower income folks to jobs and services they require. STA has been a huge help in this effort but their service area can only extend so far and there are still a lot of people living in outlying areas that don’t have any form of transportation.
Often they live in these areas because housing is cheaper there. A new study says this move outward to find affordable homes not only contributes to sprawl, traffic and pollution; it actually costs more.
I thought it was common knowledge that people "drive until they can afford it."
I work for a large state agency, the second one of my career, and I can tell you that almost without fail, you can point at the lowest earning employees and predict they live the furthest away. You would be 95% correct.
It reminds me of when I was a young mom with three kids only able to afford the cheapest home available. My worst monthly heat bills during the winter were $350 in some months trying to heat a small drafty house when, in comparison, my mom's energy efficeint home only costed her $50 with twice the space.
It's like the poor pay twice to three times the middle class does with half the income. It's sad.
In Spokane it's a little different story because there are some lower-income areas within the city limits, such as some areas on the north side and the lower south hill. But there are a lot of people in the outlying areas too. For instance, the Mayor of Rockford is trying to get bus service for her town because they have elderly folks and others who can't afford to drive to get to the services they need.