Transit Economic Equity Index: Developing a Comprehensive Measure of Transit Service Equity

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, infrastructure - stop, policy - equity, planning - methods, ridership - commuting, ridership - disadvantage


Accessibility, Bus stops, Equity (Justice), Off peak periods, Peak periods, Public transit, Travel time, Work trips


In this study an index is developed called the Transit Economic Equity Index, to enable quantitative assessment of transit service equity. The index measures convenience of travel for work trips for advantaged and disadvantaged populations, based on travel speed, using a multimodal network that includes transit lines, stop locations, transit schedules, and pedestrian connections via the street network. Non-peak hour service is compared with peak hour service to determine the degree to which operating resources are concentrated in times that might have greater benefits to advantaged populations. Finally, accessibility to the transit system is compared in relation to the number of transit stops in neighborhoods and employment centers, and these figures are compared between advantaged and disadvantaged locations. The scores for these three components are combined to create a single measure of transit economic equity. Disadvantage is defined using criteria established in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The index is constructed in a way that balances a robust and meaningful measure of transit equity that is decipherable by practitioners so that they can assess the equity of their systems as well as how potential service changes affect equity.


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