Title

STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE JOB ACCESSIBILITY: CASE STUDY OF TREN URBANO IN SAN JUAN METROPOLITAN REGION

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

operations - traffic, land use - planning, land use - urban density, place - urban, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro, mode - pedestrian, mode - paratransit

Keywords

Tren Urbano, Transportation policy, Traffic free zones, Strategies, Strategic planning, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Residential density, Recommendations, Rail transit, Priorities, Pedestrian trafficways, Pedestrian precinct, Pedestrian facilities, Pedestrian areas, Paratransit services, Objectives, Mobility, Mixed use development, Land use, Joint occupancy of buildings, Jobs, Goals, Dial a ride, Case studies, Auto free zones, Accessibility

Abstract

The question addressed is what policies should be recommended to complement rail transit investment in further enhancing job accessibility in the case of Tren Urbano, a new rail system in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, metropolitan region (SJMR). This discussion is a continuation of an earlier analysis of the spatial effects of Tren Urbano. First, policy scenarios based on two approaches to accessibility improvement--mobility and land use--are designed. Then the accessibility effects of these policies are examined using the Hansen accessibility model. The analysis results show that with supportive transportation and land use policies, the benefits of building the new rail system for job accessibility improvement can be significantly extended along the spatial dimension and more desirable social outcomes can be obtained. Four policy recommendations are made. First, high-flexibility transportation systems should be developed as complements to rapid rail transit. In the SJMR this means paying particular attention to the improvement and integration of Publico or similar van services. Second, higher land development intensity should be encouraged in station areas, that is, higher residential density (25 units or more per hectare) and a higher floor area ratio for nonresidential uses. Large surface parking areas surrounding stations should be avoided. Third, mixed land use should be promoted in station areas, with affordable housing and lower-wage jobs. Finally, pedestrian-friendly station environments should be created. A walkability index is introduced to evaluate the walking environment.