Realizable accessibility: evaluating the reliability of public transit accessibility using high‑resolution real‑time data

New paper!  Liu, L., Porr, A. and Miller, H.J. (2022) “Realizable accessibility: Evaluating the reliability of public transit accessibility using high-resolution real-time data,” Journal of Geographical Systems, online first.

Take home message:

We develop a refined time geographic measure of accessibility via public transit using real-time vehicle location data. We also show how to use this measure with schedule data to analyze the reliability of public transit accessibility at the urban scale. To be published in a special issue on “Time Geography in the Age of Mobility Analytics” in the Journal of Geographical Systems.


The widespread availability of high spatial and temporal resolution public transit data is improving the measurement and analysis of public transit-based accessibility to crucial community resources such as jobs and health care. A common approach is leveraging transit route and schedule data published by transit agencies. However, this often results in accessibility overestimations due to endemic delays due to traffic and incidents in bus systems. Retrospective real-time accessibility measures calculated using real-time bus location data attempt to reduce overestimation by capturing the actual performance of the transit system. These measures also overestimate accessibility since they assume that riders had perfect information on systems operations as they occurred. In this paper, we introduce realizable real-time accessibility based on space–time prisms as a more conservative and realistic measure. We, moreover, define accessibility unreliability to measure overestimation of schedulebased and retrospective accessibility measures. Using high-resolution General Transit Feed Specification real-time data, we conduct a case study in the Central Ohio Transit Authority bus system in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Our results prove that realizable accessibility is the most conservative of the three accessibility measures. We also explore the spatial and temporal patterns in the unreliability of both traditional measures. These patterns are consistent with prior findings of the spatial and temporal patterns of bus delays and risk of missing transfers. Realizable accessibility is a more practical, conservative, and robust measure to guide transit planning.

Impacts of bus rapid transit (BRT) on residential property values: A comparative analysis of 11 US BRT systems

New paper: Acton, B., Le, H.T.K. and Miller, H.J. (2022) “The impacts of bus rapid transit (BRT) on residential property values: A comparative analysis of 11 US BRT systems,Journal of Transport Geography, 100, 103324.

Abstract: Bus rapid transit (BRT) is growing in popularity as a lower-cost alternative to light rail transit. Although the impacts of rail transportation on residential property values is well-explored, the impact of BRT on property values remains less well-understood, particularly in the United States where BRT infrastructure is more heterogeneous than the rest of the world. This paper addresses this gap by evaluating and comparing the before-and-after effect of 11 BRT systems on nearby property values in ten metropolitan areas across the United States. We used a quasi-experimental approach and hedonic spatial error models with propensity score matching to measure change in residential property transaction prices within walking distance of a BRT station. Overall model results show a mix of appreciation, depreciation, and no change in residential properties value across different BRT systems. Multi-family properties nearby BRTs with on-street dedicated lanes generally experienced the most appreciation while single-family properties around off-street busway systems experienced depreciation. BRT-lite systems without dedicated lanes associate with property appreciation in relatively dense and congested metropolitan areas with developed transit networks and high ridership. Our model results emphasize the ability of BRT to improve transit accessibility in these regions and to provide an attractive alternative to driving. Furthermore, the lack of property appreciation around busways indicates these systems may not provide nearby residents with an amenity bonus greater than its nuisance effects. Our study informs stakeholders and public officials about the broad effects of BRT on land values and invites researchers to continue investigating the role of walkability, nuisance effects, and individual BRT amenities on residential property values.



Scooters, Ubers, and Automobiles: Sustainable Transportation with Prof. Harvey Miller

I’m on the latest episode of Prognosis Ohio, a podcast about health and healthcare in Ohio. We talk infrastructure bill, scooters, Ubers, public transit, walking and health care access.

Scooters, Ubers, and Automobiles: Sustainable Transportation with Prof. Harvey Miller