Accessibility Observatory

mpls skyline

The Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota is the nation's leading resource for the research and application of accessibility-based transportation system evaluation. Its research and analysis services allow organizations such as state DOTs, transit agencies, and metropolitan planning organizations to analyze, evaluate, and plan transportation systems and land use in their areas. The Observatory’s work also allows organizations to benchmark themselves against other regions using the same methodology and data.

Accessibility is the ease of reaching valued destinations. Accessibility metrics combine the concept of mobility with an understanding of how transportation and land-use systems work together to give people access to destinations. These metrics incorporate both the costs and the benefits of travel — and provide a more complete view of how well cities satisfy traveler needs.

More about the Accessibility Observatory's research

Access Across America

The Access Across America series measures accessibility to jobs via various modes of transportation in major metropolitan areas across the United States. As of 2015, work is funded under the National Accessibility Evaluation pooled-fund study

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.

Read about the 2021 data >

About Accessibility

What is accessibility? Why is it important to study access to destinations through a variety of different modes? What effects does accessibility have to the surrounding environment? Read more about the Accessibility Observatory's missions and motivations behind Access Across America and other research projects.