Dynamic transit accessibility and transit gap causality analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, planning - service improvement


Public transit, Accessibility, Transit gap, Spatiotemporal analysis, Transit travel time


Public Transit Accessibility (PTA) analysis helps transit agencies and planners identify areas in need of transit service improvements and prioritize transit investments. To evaluate the accessibility of existing transit services and identify access gaps, it is critical to accurately estimate travel times between transit stops, which change throughout the day due to transit schedule variations. Commonly used methods in PTA ignore such temporal fluctuation. Moreover, these methods are unable to elucidate the causes of poor PTA. To address these issues, we first implemented an algorithm to effectively compute travel times at multiple departure times throughout the day in order to enable spatiotemporal PTA analysis. A series of indicators that are intuitive to interpret were developed to determine the varying causes of poor PTA and identify areas with immediate needs for improvements. We showcase the analytical framework using a transit network in the State of Utah operated by the Utah Transit Authority. The analysis is based solely on publicly-available open datasets, which makes it generally adaptable to other transit networks. Results can assist transit agencies with identifying areas in need of service improvement and prioritizing future investments.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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