A Modarres

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - route design, place - urban, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro


Urban transportation policy, Urban transit, Urban population, Urban development, Urban areas, Transit, Routes, Public transit, Poverty, Poor people, Metropolitan areas, Mass transit, Low income groups, Low income families, Los Angeles (California), Local transit, Geography, Employment, Conurbations, Census, Case studies, Blacks, Accessibility


Several social and economic factors are creating pronounced concentration nodes outside the central business district in metropolitan areas. Polycentric concentration poses a challenge for transportation planners to economically create public transit services that meet the needs of users, particularly those who depend on it for access to employment and urban services. This study focuses on the two related issues of employment distribution and access to transit services. Using 2001 census tract level data on economic activities and transit routes within Los Angeles County, analyses were performed to determine the location of major employment centers and subcenters in the county and the viability of existing transit routes. The identified economic subcenters contain one-third of the county employment and its firms, collectively. While these economic nodes are networked by the existing bus routes, the geography of job-housing balance suggests a high level of spatial mismatch in the region, especially for the low-income and African-American population. This has created a less than optimal condition in many sections of the metropolitan area. Transportation policymakers should begin to view the geographies of employees and employment subcenters as the origin and destination of transit service operations. A reliable methodology should be adopted for determining the subcenters on an annual basis, and the region may wish to consider adopting a hierarchical public transit system of inter-regional, regional and community-based transit services that efficiently services major and minor employment subcenters of the region.


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564