This. Is. So. Important.
We find that the size of the fixed-route bus system (measured as real per capita operating expenditures) is negatively related to employee turnover rates [for local employers]: An increase in bus systems’ per capita operating expenditures is associated with a decrease in employee turnover. Decreases in employee turnover represent cost savings to businesses by reducing the costs associated with training new workers and rebuilding firm-specific knowledge or better employee-employer matches. These results suggest that access to fixed-route bus transit should be a component of the economic development strategy for communities not only for the access to jobs that it provides low-income workers but also for the benefits accruing to businesses that hire these workers.
Dagney Faulk and Michael J. Hicks,
"The Impact of Bus Transit on Employee Turnover:
Evidence from Quasi-experimental Samples"
This also means that new employers need to read this before they choose their location!
I could wish that they had measured transit quantity using revenue hours rather than expenditures, because revenue hours are a better measure of service to the customer. But still, this is a big deal. Eric Jaffe also has the story at Citylab.
No surprise there. Would be interesting to see a narrow study as to which fare/transfer/pass systems have similar effects. I’m betting the least rider hostile fare structures help foster usage/access to work and other trips.
I mis-read this at first. I thought you meant that the transit agencies themselves had lower turnover, but it seems that you are saying the region as a whole has lower employee turnover. Interesting.