Assessing Public Transit Accessibility and Equity of 10-County Atlanta Region using General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) Data
Debnath, Anindya Kishore
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From a conceptual understanding, though equity and accessibility are two fundamentally different issues but at the core, they possess an intricate relationship with each other when it comes down to the question of public transit (Talen and Anselin, 1998). Public transportation systems are usually aimed at serving two distinct groups of users ﾖ people who neither can afford a car nor have access to safe and convenient non-motorized alternatives, and people who independently choose not to drive but use public transit (Karner and Golub, 2015). Accessibility, often a debatable concern due to its widely differing reception, but continues to be at the center of contemporary transportation planning efforts. When it comes down to the provision of public transit service, it becomes even more crucial from equity concern as well. Transportation equity can be thought of as an effort to ensure that the service caters to the users irrespective of their spatial or socioeconomic background (Blanchard and et. al., 2017). Thus, it becomes more important for the captive riders who have no access to private automobile and thus no way either to travel by public transport or transit system (Langford, Fry and Higgs, 2012; Mavoa, Witten, Pearce and Day, 2009). However, due to its complexity and varying scales of recognition by various Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and regional transportation authorities, FTA funded transportation improvement projects are being evaluated on widely varying accessibility matrices. This paper is intended to assess public transit equity by applying a spatially and temporally sound and resolved accessibility indicator suggested by Karner (2016) and demonstrate its utility with reference to 10-county Atlanta region.
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