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Pittsburgh among "biggest commuter cities"


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This Money article talks about the US Census Beauro's first ever report on the difference in daytime and nighttime populations of US cities. It mentions Pittsburgh as having an increase of 41.3%, one of the higher numbers reported.

But as we discussed in another thread, a lot of this is comparing apples and oranges. I think the Census Beauro has to go back and come up with some meaningfull numbers.

For example, Austin's daytime population only rises 19.4% but the city limits are so huge and the population density so low that it's meaningless to compare it to Pittsburgh or anywhere else. I'm sure if they just took the original Austin city limits, the daytime population would grow tenfold, or if they spread Pittsburgh's limits to where population density equals Austin's, virtually all our workforce would live "within" the city. The article mentions NYC as a "special case" where Manhattan's population mushrooms during the day but 90% of the workforce lives within city limits, but it's nowhere close to a special case. Los Angeles, that gridlock hell, doesn't even make the top 10 list.

But a 41.3% hike in Pittsburgh's daytime population is still nothing to sneeze at. This number should be used to justify a sizeable increase in light rail service.


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Transit is never a bad addition, I'd love to see a Universities line out to Oakland as well as a western one ending at the airport. However the larger point as you menitoned is apples and oranges . . . Pittsburgh is only 55 sq. miles compare this with most sunbelt cities either having a form of city/county government or having a land area of 300, 400, or sometimes 500 sq. miles, that means some cities get the tax base and population of more then 10x what the "city" of Pittsburgh can claim.

Very nice article.

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