Transit Access Performance Across Chicago




Janatabadi, Fatemeh
Tajik, Nazanin
Ermagun, Alireza

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Network Design Lab, University of Sydney


This chapter studies the spatial and temporal disparity of modal access to employments by measuring the Modal Access Gap (MAG) in Chicago and its nine neighborhoods. Access to employment is calculated for transit, auto, and walk in twelve 5-minute travel time thresholds at the Census block group level. First, a gradual reduction in MAG can be seen in Chicago and across its neighborhoods with an increase in travel-time thresholds. Second, different neighborhoods, depending on their proximity and distance from the Central Business District (CBD), display distinct MAG variations. The modal access gap, therefore, should not be measured in isolation of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the transit service. Third, assigning a single MAG score to the city at a specific travel-time threshold describes the city transit system imprecisely. Comparing transit and walk, the city MAG value inclines toward portending higher transit efficiency for its subareas. While comparing transit and auto, the city MAG suggests an inferior transit performance compared to the neighborhoods' average. This chapter informs urban planners and policymakers of the effects of travel time and space on access analysis. Inaccurate perceptions of transit performance prevent the development of an efficient and equitable transit system.



Transit performance, Public transit, Disparity of access


Janatabadi, F., Tajik, N., and Ermagun, A. (2021). "Transit Access Performance Across Chicago." In D. Levinson and A. Ermagun (Eds.), Applications of Access (pp. 291-306). Network Design Lab, University of Sydney.