Access Across America: Transit 2015


Andrew Owen, Brendan Murphy, David Levinson

December 2016

Report no. CTS 16-09

Accessibility is the ease of reaching valued destinations. It can be measured across different times of day (accessibility in the morning rush might be lower than the less-congested midday period). It can be measured for each mode (accessibility by walking is usually lower than accessibility by transit, which is usually lower than accessibility by car). There are a variety of ways to measure 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 49 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 2015, a report of job accessibility by auto in 51 metropolitan areas and follows the Access Across America: Transit 2014 report. A separate publication, Access Across America: Transit 2015 Methodology, describes the data and methodology used in this evaluation.

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.

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