Access Across America: Transit 2021


Andrew Owen, Shirley S. Liu, Saumya Jain, Eric Lind

July 2023

Report no. CTS 23-08

Accessibility is the ease and feasibility of reaching valued destinations. It can be measured for a wide array of 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 study estimates the accessibility to jobs by transit and walking for each of the United States? 11 million census blocks and analyzes these data in the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas. Travel times by transit are calculated using detailed pedestrian networks and full transit schedules for the 7:00 ? 9:00 a.m. period. The calculations include all components of a transit journey, including ?last-mile? access and egress walking segments and transfers, and account for minute-by-minute variations in service frequency.

This report presents detailed accessibility values for each metropolitan area, as well as block-level maps which illustrate the spatial patterns of accessibility within each area.

Year-over-year changes in transit accessibility are provided for each area. The 2021 reporting year reflects the first travel year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; thus the changes in accessibility include impacts of altered transit service in response to changes in travel behavior, especially reductions in office commutes due to telework.

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State Pooled Funds