By Peter Truog, Fund for Our Economic Future
A recent article by Steven Litt reviewed a study released by the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University that celebrated the remarkable job growth occurring in Cleveland’s Health Tech Corridor. In particular, the study highlighted how transit investments can help catalyze job growth in surrounding areas.
The criticality of job access is an issue the Fund for Our Economic Future has championed for some time. We agree that the Health Tech Corridor has grown spectacularly and is an important asset for our region’s economic competitiveness.
Growth in transit-accessible urban job hubs like the Health Tech Corridor helps stem the outward migration of jobs and makes the region’s growth more environmentally and fiscally sustainable. Indeed, our Fund recently chose to relocate to an office right along the Health Tech Corridor, due in part to the convenience and accessibility provided by the rapid bus transit.
But bringing “jobs to people” is only half of the story; we must also bring “people to jobs.” We need transit investments that improve connectivity to suburban job hubs like Solon.
Connecting residents to suburban job hubs is not “a problem of yesterday,” as the CSU study asserts. It is an economic reality — perhaps even a lifeline — to many Clevelanders. The study risks encouraging “zero-sum” transit funding discussions where urban centers vie to win a larger share of a fixed transit investment “pie.” We should instead discuss enlarging the pie, and promote creative transit solutions that address the reality of where jobs are located in our region.