Measuring the impacts of new public transit services on space-time accessibility

Lee, J. and Miller, H. J. (2018) “Measuring the impacts of new public transit services on space-time accessibility: An analysis of transit system redesign and new bus rapid transit in Columbus, Ohio, USA,” Applied Geography, 93, 47-63.

Highlights

  • Lack of access to opportunities contributes to poor social and health outcomes.
  • Columbus, OH introduced a transit route and schedule redesign and bus rapid transit.
  • We analyze impacts on accessibility to opportunities in a deprived neighborhood.
  • Detailed route and schedule data allow high resolution accessibility analysis.
  • The new bus rapid transit has a much greater impact on accessibility

Abstract

The absence of effective access to opportunities and services is a key contributor to poor socio-economic and health outcomes in underserved neighborhoods in many cities. The city of Columbus, Ohio, USA is attempting to enhance residents’ accessibility by providing new public transit services. These new services include a major Transit System Redesign (TSR) of the conventional bus network and the introduction of a new bus rapid transit, named CMAX. Using a high-resolution space-time accessibility measure, we analyze whether these new public transit services will change residents’ accessibility to job and healthcare in an underserved neighborhood of Columbus. Also, we assess whether enhancing the CMAX service to reduce delays (e.g., reserved lane, off-board payment system) will improve accessibility. The high-resolution space-time accessibility measure in this study uses published public transit schedules via the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS). We use multiple departure times during a day to account for the temporal fluctuations of accessibility based on the transit schedule changes. We also consider the operating hours of job opportunities and healthcare services. Results suggest that the TSR yields ambiguous benefits for accessibility to jobs and healthcare. However, the new CMAX service and its potential upgrades lead to a substantial increase in both job and healthcare accessibility. The results can be used for city officials and urban planners to evaluate the effectiveness of public transit innovations in improving accessibility.

Keywords: Transportation; Space-time accessibility; Public transit; Bus rapid transit; Jobs; Healthcare

Ohio State chosen as a Beyond Traffic Innovation Center by the USDOT

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced this week that The Ohio State University has been named one of 18 institutions across the country to lead research on transportation challenges outlined in the Department of Transportation’s Beyond Traffic 2045 report.

As a Beyond Traffic Innovation Center, Ohio State is recognized as a forward-thinking and influential institution capable of driving solutions to these challenges by convening decision-makers in the Great Lakes megaregion and coordinating related research, curriculum, outreach and other activities. Due to its location in the center of the country, the Great Lakes megaregion sits at the heart of the U.S. transportation network.

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“Gridlock Sam” Schwartz to speak at Ohio State on September 20th

The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) is pleased to welcome Samuel Schwartz to Ohio State University for a free public lecture on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 4:00pm at the Wexner Center Film/Video Theater, 1871 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210

Sam Schwartz is the most famous traffic engineer in the world, serving as New York City Transportation Commissioner under several mayors, and now leads an international and highly influential consulting firm, Sam Schwartz Engineering.  Mr. Schwartz invented the word ‘gridlock,’ earning the enduring moniker “Gridlock Sam.”

Sam is called the “Jane Jacobs of Traffic” due to his long fight to create room for humans and social space in city streets and an “urban alchemist” for his uncanny ability to grow green space from asphalt.  In Canada, is he known as “[The] Wayne Gretzky of Traffic Planning.”

Gridlock Sam will speak about his recent book, Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and Fall of Carsa lively history and discussion of how to move cities beyond automobile dominance.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so RSVP today at: http://cura.osu.edu/920rsvp

More information about Sam Schwartz

CURA Gridlock Sam