Transit Score: Screening Model for Evaluating Community Suitability for Transit Investments

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, land use - planning, mode - mass transit


Validation, Transit, Statistical methods, Statistical analysis, Software validation, Public transit, New Jersey Transit, Methodology, Methodologies, Mathematical statistics, Mass transit, Local transit, Linear regression analysis, Linear regression, Investments, Investment requirements, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Communities, Applications


The transit score is a measure that can inform the selection of appropriate transit investments for a given community. The model estimates a measure of the potential for success of various transit investments—the transit score—as a function of the densities of population, employment, and carless households. A version of this methodology was developed in 1989 by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the metropolitan planning organization for the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden–Trenton, New Jersey, region. The method was adapted and expanded by the New Jersey Transit Corporation (NJ TRANSIT) in 2000 to evaluate future rail and fixed guideway extensions in its 2020 plan. Several other versions of the transit score methodology are known to exist and have been applied in studies across the United States. In 2005, DVRPC staff, in collaboration with NJ TRANSIT, undertook a project to validate and apply the transit score methodology to areas within the DVRPC region. Three versions of the transit score model were calibrated with linear regression models by using observed transit journey-to-work mode share as a proxy for transit score. Development of the transit score model is documented, revisions and statistical validation are described, and a range of applications of the transit score, both completed and contemplated, are discussed.