National Accessibility Evaluation

Principal Investigator(s):

Andrew Owen, Lead Researcher, Acc. Obsv., Center for Transportation Studies


  • David Levinson, Former U of M Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering
  • Arlene Mathison, Director, Digital Info & Lib. Svcs., Center for Transportation Studies

Project summary:

This project had two main objectives. First, it created a new, national, census block-level accessibility dataset that can be used by partners in local transportation system evaluation, performance management, planning, and research efforts. Second, it produced and published a series of annual reports describing accessibility to jobs by driving and by transit in metropolitan areas across America.

  • Accessibility Dataset
    This project created a national census block-level dataset that describes accessibility to jobs from locations across the country, updated annually. Accessibility calculations rely on detailed travel-time calculations for both driving and transit, which are implemented using commercially available, GPS-based speed measurements and published transit schedules. Each Access Across America partner has direct digital access to the accessibility datasets covering the jurisdictions of all partners. The data is formatted such that the dataset can be easily accessed using popular software available on office computers.
  • Annual Report
    The annual Access Across America report provides summaries of the detailed accessibility datasets for the 50 largest (by population) metropolitan areas across America. This report is provided to national and local media outlets and supported by publicity and communications efforts. Partners are recognized in the report for their sponsorship and support.


Project details: