Public Transit and Job Access in Chicago

by Martin Wachs, Assoc. Prof.; School of Arch. and Urban Planning, Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA,
Joseph L. Schofer, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 2, Pg. 351-366

Document Type: Journal Paper


Recent attention has focused on the role of urban mass transportation in relieving unemployment. A detailed analytic study of the degree to which mass transit in Chicago meets the job access needs of social groups experiencing high rates of unemployment was performed. The geographic locations of concentrations of the residences of unemployed persons, and of potential job opportunities, were identified. A computer-coded representation of the public transit system in Chicago was analyzed to determine minimum point-to-point travel times. These were used to estimate the level of service offered to unemployed persons traveling to new work opportunities. The overall quality of public transit in Chicago was then evaluated by comparing travel time data with the locations of jobs and the unemployed. Recommendations for improving the transit system in this regard were then offered.

Subject Headings: Public transportation | Travel time | Employment | Transportation management | Urban areas | Social factors | Computer analysis | Chicago | Illinois | United States

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