Rail infrastructure procurement is costly and relatively limited in scope and network coverage in comparison to bus service and concentrated along main rail corridors. Increased access to high quality transit such as rail offers increased opportunities for physical activity because most transit trips begin and end with walking.1 This measure shows the number of rail stations of any mode type within each Census block group. Both rail transit, such as commuter rail, subway or metro, light rail and streetcar operated by state and regional transportation authorities are included as well as inter-regional rail mostly served by Amtrak.
Source data for this variable was obtained from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database developed by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This base data provides address location for all transportation stations by type and includes the following rail modes: 1) inter-regional rail, 2) commuter rail, 3) metro or subway, 4) light rail and 5) streetcar. Address locations were geocoded, spatially selected and counted by Census block group. All rail stop locations are weighted equally.
- Access to rail stations = Number of rail stations within each Census block group.
The MSA level value is the unweighted mean of the values of all block groups in the MSA.
This indicator was calculated by Urban Design 4 Health using data from the sources listed below.
- U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database, 2014.
Besser, L.M. & Dannenberg, A.L. (2005). Walking to Public Transit: Steps to Help Meet Physical Activity Recommendations. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 29(4), 274-280.
Lachapelle, U., Frank, L.D., Sallis, J.F., Saelens, B.E. & Conway, T. (2015). Active Transportation by Transit-Dependent & Choice Riders & Potential Displacement of Leisure Physical Activity. Journal of Planning Education & Research, 36(2), 225-238.