For many years transportation experts thought that in order for transit systems to be successful there needed to be a strong central business district -- so workers could commute via transit, boosting ridership. As a result, when cities and job centers began to decentralize and transit ridership began to decline, critics concluded transit was no longer relevant. A new analysis of 82 metro areas in the Journal of Public Transportation, however, finds there is no statistical relationship between central business districts and transit commuting when other variables are considered -- including service frequency, service coverage, car ownership and unemployment. In the meantime multi-centered metro areas like Los Angeles that have been developing "multi-destination" systems that travel to many employment centers, have been seeing ridership increase.
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