Transit Orientation Attribute
As mass transit is more energy efficient on a per rider basis than auto travel, expanding transit service can provide alternatives to auto use and reduce greenhouse gas and waste heat emissions (Climate Change).
Rather than adopt a uniform standard for the City, we established a standard that depends on the population density of each district. Literature on mass transportation has suggested that a density of seven units per acre is needed to support a bus transit system. With population in census blocks used as a proxy for housing units per acre, it became apparent that Madison Metro provides service in areas that are well below the seven-unit density threshold.
For our standard, then, we calculated the average density of census blocks currently served by Madison Metro per district and used that as our district minimum.
To measure bus service in Madison, we obtained a GIS data layer of Madison Metro bus stops from the City Planning Department. In ArcGIS a 1/4-mile buffer was added around each bus stop in order to show the areas currently served by transit. This information was then combined with population data in order to identify those areas not currently within a 1/4-mile radius of a transit spot but whose census block population density equals or exceeds that of the average density currently served by transit.