The benefits of a high-resolution analysis of transit accessibility

Itzhak Benenson, Eran Ben-Elia, Yodan Rofé, Dmitry Geyzersky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accessibility is an important consideration in sustainable mobility policies, particularly for transit users. Measures suggested in the literature are based on coarse aggregate spatial resolution of traffic analysis zones that is sufficient for managing car travels only. To reflect a human door-to-door travel, transit accessibility demands an explicit view of the location of origin, transit stops and destination, as well as of the temporal fit between transit lines timetable and traveler’s needs. We thus estimate transit accessibility based on mode-specific travel times and corresponding paths, including walking and waiting, at the resolution of individual buildings and stops. Car accessibility is estimated at a high resolution too. A novel representation of transit network as a graph is proposed. This representation includes all modal components of a transit travel–walking, waiting at a stop, transit ride, transfers between lines, thus enabling unified view of a travel, regardless of mode. The use of modern high-performance graph database allows construction of high-resolution accessibility maps for an entire metropolitan area with its 100–200 K buildings. The application is tested and applied in a case study involving the evaluation of the 2011 bus line reform in the city of Tel Aviv. Specifically, we demonstrate that while the reform increased the average accessibility for the entire city the increase was not uniform with different areas of the city experiencing different absolute accessibility by transit and relative accessibility in comparison to car travel. The bus reform did in fact benefit travelers that experienced low relative accessibility, but the benefits are mainly accruing to longer trips. Our approach and computational methods can be employed for directly investigating the impacts of transportation infrastructure investments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-236
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • equity
  • high-resolution spatial analysis
  • transit

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