An application of time geography to analysis of public transportation
Assessing the quality and accessibility of public transit service has long been a challenge for transportation researchers and planners. This is partly due to a disconnect between the existence of a host of important factors in the quality of transit service, and the operationalization of those factors into estimable impacts on system usage. However, advancements in activity-travel behavior research and the role of time in transport geography provide intriguing potential for development and application in transit research. This paper uses a hypothetical example city and transit system to propose and describe a new method to analyze public transportation in a three-dimensional space. The road network, transit network, and spatial extent of the urban area are combined with time in a three-dimensional space to measure the volume of daily activity-travel space in a city. Then, the activity-travel spaces of stop access, frequency, distance, headway, and travel time on transit are calculated to measure the volume of activity-travel space of the transit system. The two volumes can then be used to create an index for the proportion of the activity-travel space in an urban area that is accessible by the transit system. Spatial data on ridership and relevant predictors of ridership can be incorporated to create potentially enlightening measurements and visualization of the utility of the transit system, including comparisons of accessibility within and between cities, and better estimate system-level impacts of changes to transit and land-use in the urban area.
Bradley W. Lane. "An application of time geography to analysis of public transportation" In preparation for Submission, International Journal of Geographic Information Systems (2013).
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