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The Time Between: Continuously-defined accessibility functions for schedule-based transportation systems

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Anderson
  • Andrew Owen
  • David Levinson

    () (Nexus (Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems) Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

Accessibility is traditionally considered to be a property of a point or region in space, and to be invariant over time (or at least over some computationally convenient time interval). How- ever, a locations accessibility can vary over time on a wide range of scales. This temporal variation is especially significant for schedule-based transportation systems. Current measures of accessibility generally reflect the accessibility only at points in time corresponding to the departures of one or more trips; accessibility between these time points remains unconsidered and undefined. Consequently, these measures are insensitive to changes in route frequency and the distribution of trip departure times. Furthermore, these approaches ignore the disutility experienced by a system user who is limited to departing or arriving at scheduled times rather than at preferred times. As a result, they systematically overestimate the accessibility experienced by users of scheduled transportation systems. We establish new methods for representing the accessibility provided by a schedule-based transportation system from a specific location as a continuously-defined accessibility function (CDAF) of desired departure time, defined for all time points. Using schedule and route information from metropolitan transit providers, we demonstrate the application of these methods to gain new insight into the accessibility provided by real-world transportation systems. Four examples are developed to represent common service types in metropolitan transit networks. The results confirm that accessibility is significantly overestimated by measuring single points and show that trip frequency is more valuable for sustained accessibility than high accessibility on individual trips.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Anderson & Andrew Owen & David Levinson, 2012. "The Time Between: Continuously-defined accessibility functions for schedule-based transportation systems," Working Papers 000098, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:nex:wpaper:thetimebetween
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/179839
    File Function: First version, 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kevin Krizek & David Levinson, 2009. "Access," Working Papers 000071, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    2. Ottensmann, John R. & Lindsey, Greg, 2008. "A Use-Based Measure of Accessibility to Linear Features to Predict Urban Trail Use," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 1(1), pages 41-63.
    3. S L Handy & D A Niemeier, 1997. "Measuring accessibility: an exploration of issues and alternatives," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(7), pages 1175-1194, July.
    4. S L Handy & D A Niemeier, 1997. "Measuring Accessibility: An Exploration of Issues and Alternatives," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 29(7), pages 1175-1194, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mengying Cui & David Levinson, 2015. "Accessibility and the Ring of Unreliability," Working Papers 000133, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public transport; accessibility; scheduled transportation; mass transit;

    JEL classification:

    • R41 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Transportation: Demand, Supply, and Congestion; Travel Time; Safety and Accidents; Transportation Noise
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning

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