As many cities around the world look to micromobility options like shared bicycles, electric bicycles and electric scooters, accessibility analysis is a tool to understand the current transportation landscape, as well as how changes to programs and policies could impact access to jobs and other important destinations.
The current approach to accessibility analyses, however, relies on unrealistic assumptions about car travel and tends to omit newer modes, leading to inaccurate or incomplete results.
All Possible Commutes: How Micromobility and Realistic Car Travel Times Impact Accessibility Analyses is a working paper from NUMO produced with Transport for Cairo and support from the Institute for Transportation Development Policy (ITDP) that introduces an improved method for accessibility analysis that incorporates the availability of shared micromobility as well as realistic car travel times.
The paper compares the results of case studies of four cities — Cairo, Mexico City, Minneapolis-Saint Paul and the San Francisco Bay Area — where accessibility analyses were conducted with and without these methodological improvements. The case studies revealed a number of key findings, including:
The paper applies the Gini coefficient, an economic concept to describe how equitably a resource is distributed among a population, to the transportation sector to measure the degree to which accessibility improvements due to micromobility are equitably distributed among a city's residents.
Additionally, the paper introduces a new method for estimating how changes in job access are distributed among neighborhoods and people of different races and incomes.
All Possible Commutes is the result of a three-year convening of a dozen public, private and non-profit stakeholders as part of the NUMO Research Collaborative to develop and select a research proposal that would interest or benefit all stakeholder groups. Through a competitive proposal process, Transport for Cairo was selected to carry out technical research for the project, which was proposed by ITDP.
Note: To assist with this research, Mapbox and Uber provided data on real-world traffic speeds. Mapbox donated data on real-world traffic speeds to this research. To request access to similar data from Mapbox to apply this open-source accessibility analysis method, please first review the data documentation and download the Mapbox sample data to confirm that it will meet your needs. Non-commercial or non-profit projects can contact the Mapbox Social Impact team to request a data donation. Commercial or government users can contact Mapbox Sales to purchase a data license.
All Possible Commutes: How Micromobility and Realistic Car Travel Times Impact Accessibility Analyses, the technical appendix and additional resources are available here.
To make it easier for any government agency or researcher to incorporate these methods, the full underlying code and datasets referenced in the paper can be found here.
Header image: Carlos F. Pardo/Flickr