Alternative Methods for the Calculation of Pedestrian Catchment Areas for Public Transit


Karina Macias

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, mode - tram/light rail, land use - planning, land use - impacts, infrastructure - station, infrastructure - stop, policy - sustainable, policy - environment


sustainable transportation, pedestrian catchment areas, pedestrian connections, access, transit stops and stations


Federal and local transportation policy aims to reduce vehicle emissions, improve air quality, and promote active lifestyles by investing in sustainable transportation alternatives. Investments in public transportation can be maximized by improving pedestrian connections to transit stops and stations. For pedestrian access to public transportation to be improved, enhancements must be within the pedestrian catchment area of a transit stop or station. This study explored three new approaches for identifying pedestrian catchment areas that incorporate topography, pedestrian facilities, and energy expenditure estimates: the network grade, pedestrian speed, and pedestrian energy methods. This paper includes a description of how to conduct the three spatial analyses and a comparison of results from these methods with the results from two methods widely used in practice: the Euclidian distance and network distance methods. The comparison was carried out by analyzing spatial data from the light rail Expo Line and its surrounding environment in Los Angeles County, California. The results demonstrate significant differences in the size, land use diversity, and transportation facilities captured by the new methods compared with those from the two existing methods.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.