Date of Award

9-2009

Degree Name

Master of City and Regional Planning/MS in Engineering (Transportation Planning Specialization)

Department

City and Regional Planning

Advisor

Cornelius Nuworsoo

Abstract

Many groups have been pushing for a shift from automotive oriented transportation and land use, to transit-oriented transportation and land use. These groups have many valid reasons. However, just as it is fair to point out issues about auto travel, so too is it fair to see how transit performs at meeting certain goals. This paper examines the important characteristic of accessibility afforded to travelers. This is quantified through the calculation of accessibility indexes for stations, for the specific case of two existing rail systems and four proposed rail extensions in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As a whole, the four extensions investigated increase regionwide rail accessibility by 18.5 percent, not an insignificant increase. However, the new stations are on average less accessible than their existing counterparts. Two of the four extensions perform well on accessibility measures, either their stations have high accessibility, or jobs around them contribute to high accessibility for nearby stations. The other two extensions however perform poorly on accessibility measures. In a time of limited resources, the accessibility results clearly indicate how the four extensions should be prioritized. The more successful extensions have good access to activity centers. Extensions having good connectivity with other lines can also enhance accessibility if providing significant travel time savings.

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