Title

ACCESS TO INTERCITY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SERVICES FROM SMALL COMMUNITIES: GEOSPATIAL ANALYSIS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

planning - signage/information, technology - geographic information systems, place - rural, place - urban

Keywords

Transportation policy, Texas-Oklahoma Border, Small towns, Rural areas, National government, Mississippi River Delta, Midwestern States, Midwest United States, Interurban transportation, Intercity transportation, GIS, Geospatial analysis, Geographic information systems, Geocoding, Federal government, Appalachia, Access

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Transportation currently is evaluating national transportation policy on the role the federal government should play to improve access to intercity public transportation services from smaller communities and rural areas. An important first step in this evaluation is to determine the size and location of underserved markets. This question is particularly well suited to the kind of spatial analysis that is possible through geographic information systems (GIS) technology. Presented are the results of a geospatial analysis to identify those places that do not have reasonable access to intercity public transportation services and the potential impact of that lack of access on the people living in those places. By using national level, geospatial databases of intercity public transportation access points and locations of places defined in the 1990 census, the analysis employed GIS to create buffers of specified distances around each access point to find those places located beyond the buffers. A total of 443 places with populations between 2,500 and 50,000 were found to lie beyond a reasonable access distance to any intercity public transportation service. Those places are located predominantly in the rural Midwest, Appalachia, and the Mississippi Delta and along the Texas-Oklahoma border.