Category Archives: Accessibility

Accessibility Webinar

Andrew Owen of the University of Minnesota Accessibility Observatory will be talking about accessibility October 28 at FHWA’s:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 1:30:00 PM CDT – 3:00:00 PM CDT
The Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with several national stakeholder groups, would like you to join us for the next Let’s Talk Performance: Performance Measures Beyond the Mainstream.   The webinar is scheduled for Tuesday, October 28, from 2:30PM to 4:00 PM (EDT).  This event is open to FHWA staff, State DOTs, MPOs, transit providers, and other stakeholder agencies.  This webinar is the second in a series of six webinars focused on transportation performance management implementation activities.  During this webinar, presenters will:
•	Provide an update on FHWA Rulemaking proceedings; 
•	Focus on States and MPOs evaluating non-traditional performance measures 
 Register Now 

During the webinar, the following presentations on non-traditional performance measures will be made:
• Accessibility Performance Measures
o Andrew Owen, University of Minnesota Accessibility Observatory
• Economic Development Performance Measures
o Charlie Howard, Puget Sound Regional Council
• Health Performance Measures for Transportation Agencies
o Frank Gallivan, ICF International
Transit 2014: Accessibility to Jobs in Atlanta

Access Across America: Transit 2014 Coverage

Regularly updated

As keen readers of this blog or my twitter feed know, the Accessibility Observatory released Access Across America: Transit 2014  this week, with an official University of Minnesota Press Release and  Maps. This post links to third party coverage and interpretation of the report.

National

Local

Austin

Cincinnati

Denver

Houston

Los Angeles

Louisville

Minneapolis – St. Paul

Phoenix

Portland

San Antonio

Seattle

Tampa

Washington DC

Transit Accessibility in Minneapolis

Access Across America: Transit 2014 … #accessjobstransit

Our Access Across America: Transit 2014 report is now out.

Access Across America : Transit 2014
Access Across America : Transit 2014

The report (CTS 14-11) and methodology  (CTS 14-12) can be downloaded from the Accessibility Observatory.

Report

Accessibility is the ease of reaching valued destinations. It can be measured for various transportation modes, to different types of destinations, and at different times of day. There are a variety of ways to define accessibility, but the number of destinations reachable within a given travel time is the most comprehensible and transparent, as well as the most directly comparable across cities.

This report examines accessibility to jobs by transit in 46 of the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States. Transit is used for an estimated 5 percent of commuting trips in the United States, making it the second most widely used commute mode after driving. This report complements Access Across America: Auto 2013, a report of job accessibility by auto in 51 metropolitan areas. …

Rankings are determined by a weighted average of accessibility, giving a higher weight to closer jobs. Jobs reachable within ten minutes are weighted most heavily, and jobs are given decreasing weight as travel time increases up to 60 minutes.

Methodology:

This report describes the data and methodology used in the separate publication, Access Across America: Transit 2014. That report examines accessibility to jobs by transit in 46 of the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas in the United States. Transit is used for an estimated 5 percent of commuting trips in the United States, making it the second most widely used commute mode after driving. Rankings are determined by a weighted average of accessibility, giving a higher weight to closer jobs. Jobs reachable within ten minutes are weighted most heavily, and jobs are given decreasing weight as travel time increases up to 60 minutes.

The research was sponsored by the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota. Accessibility Observatory reports, including the analysis of job accessibility by auto published last year Access Across America: Auto 2013, and interactive maps are available for download at: access.umn.edu/research/america.

Visit the site to see the reports, rankings, data, and maps.

Transit Accessibility in Minneapolis
Transit Accessibility in Minneapolis region. Ranked #13 as of January 2014.

America’s Accessible Cities | Huffington Post

Wendell Cox cites our work in a Huffington Post article: America’s Accessible Cities.

With frequent press attention on traffic congestion and “gridlock,” it may be surprising that work trip travel times in US cities are better than those of high income competitors in other nations …. Indeed, the University of Minnesota’s David Levinson, found that the typical employee can reach two-thirds of jobs in major US metropolitan areas within 30 minutes.

Census Bureau data indicates that the average work trip travel time in US cities of more than 5 million population was approximately 29 minutes each way. Western European cities of more than 5 million population have an average travel time of 32 minutes. Toronto, Canada’s only city of this size, has a travel time of 33 minutes. East Asian cities with more than 5 million residents (Tokyo, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto, Nagoya, Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore) have far longer average travel times — at 42 minutes. Australia’s two largest cities (Sydney and Melbourne), which are yet to reach 5 million, have an average travel times of 35 minutes.

He is referring to our Access Across America report from last year.

Time is important, of course. What you can do with that time (the quality of the experience) also matters. If you can work while traveling, the value of saving time is less than if you must focus on the driving task. This is one reason why autonomous vehicles may be such a game-changer. It may also explain in part the premium people are willing to pay for high quality transit and intercity rail service.

Using principles of justice to assess the modal equity of regional transportation plans

My friends Karel Martens and Aaron Golub just published: Using principles of justice to assess the modal equity of regional transportation plans. Journal of Transport Geography
Volume 41, December 2014, Pages 10–20

Abstract:

While equity has been an important consideration for transportation planning agencies in the U.S. following the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI specifically) and the subsequent Department of Transportation directives, there is little guidance on how to assess the distribution of benefits generated by transport investment programs. As a result, the distribution of these benefits has received relatively little attention in transportation planning, compared to transport-related burdens. Drawing on philosophies of social justice, we present an equity assessment of the distribution of accessibility in order to define the rate of “access poverty” among the population. We then apply this analysis to regional transportation plan scenarios from the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on measures of differences between public transit and automobile access. The analysis shows that virtually all neighborhoods suffer from substantial gaps between car and public transport-based accessibility, but that the two proposed transportation investment programs reduce access poverty compared to the “no project” scenario. We also investigate how access and access poverty rates vary by demographic groups and map low-income communities within access impoverished areas, which could be the subject of further focused investments.

Now only if we could do that for the whole country, hmm?

MnPASS Accounts per Household

Incremental Accessibility Benefits and Choice of Subscriptions for High-Occupancy Toll Lanes

Recently published:

MnPASS Accounts per Household
MnPASS Accounts per Household

This paper presents the results of an investigation into the factors contributing to toll lane subscription choice by using data from the MnPASS high-occupancy toll lane system operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The paper estimates a binomial logit model that predicts, on the basis of aggregate characteristics of the surrounding area, the likelihood of a household having a subscription to MnPASS systems. Variables in this model include demographic factors as well as an estimate of the incremental accessibility benefit provided by the MnPASS system. This benefit is estimated with the use of detailed accessibility calculations and represents the degree to which a location’s accessibility to jobs is improved if HOT lanes are available. The model achieves a rho<sup>2</sup> value of .634, and analysis of the results suggests that incremental accessibility benefits play a statistically and practically significant role in determining how likely households are to hold a toll lane subscription.

Access Across America Pooled Fund Webinar

Access Across America is a state-of-the-art multimodal accessibility evaluation for transportation system performance management and planning. The webinar (recorded August 6, 2014) featured an overview of the Access Across America project and examples of accessibility calculation results, information about the request for participation in the Access Across America Pooled Fund project, and a question and answer session.

(Pooled Funds are the “Kickstarter” for transportation research, where participants are usually, but not only, state DOTs – notably this process was developed in transportation some 20 years ago, much earlier than Kickstarter formed … yet another example of transportation exporting technologies to other sectors).

Watch webinar

Speakers

Pooled Fund Proposal Draft