A Framework for Measuring the Spatial Equity in the Distribution of Public Transportation Benefits

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus rapid transit, mode - subway/metro, place - asia, place - urban, planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, policy - equity, ridership - demand


vertical equity, traffic analysis zone (TAZ)


This paper proposes that an equitable transit system requires that the geographical distribution of transit service benefits conform to the geographical distribution of the citizens with the greatest need for public transportation. This is the essence of vertical equity. This study calculated “connectivity power,” which reflects public transit service quality in each traffic analysis zone (TAZ) in a city to indicate the amount of benefit that TAZ is receiving from the transit system. The number of carless citizens in each TAZ was also calculated as an index of need to the public transit services in that area. Conformity of need and supply was analyzed using Spearman’s rank correlation and the Gini index. This framework indicates that in Isfahan, Iran, adding three bus rapid transit (BRT) lines and completing the existing metro line would not improve the Gini index but would improve the Spearman’s rank correlation to an acceptable level.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by the Journal of Public Transportation, copyright remains with them.