Here’s a great new mapping tool called All Transit: Gap Finder that does some number crunching and identifies the places with the largest “transit gaps” in service in any given city. It uses a combination of population data and transit service data to figure out where the biggest mismatches between density / population and transit service exist.
As they explain them, “transit gaps exist wherever there is a mismatch between the strength of a transit market and the quality of transit service available to the households of that community.”
As you can see, the Twin Cities’ major gaps are almost all surrounding the downtown Minneapolis periphery. Here’s the map at two different scales:
And looking at Minneapolis:
The site’s designers explain the gaps thus:
On the map above, any orange and red areas show transit markets where households are underserved by transit and would benefit from improvements. Blue areas indicate where the transit market strength is already met by a minimum benchmark of adequate transit service and white areas show where the market strength for transit service is low enough that adding transit would not represent an improvement. The pie chart shows the percentage of those households underserved by transit grouped by market strength.
They later claim that Metro Transit needs to reduce the wait time for these areas by 11 minutes to meet their minimum standards.
It’s interesting to me that the gaps all seem to be in these neighborhoods like Whittier, Elliot Park, and Marcy-Holmes, that are within about five miles of downtown. Those are also the places with the highest densities in the city, and the results suggest that Metro Transit should be focusing on serving those areas instead of trying to create transit ridership in the blue areas like far South or North Minneapolis or (gulp) Saint Paul.
Of course, the politics of that proposition are a different story…