Identifying transit deserts in major Texas cities where the supplies missed the demands

Junfeng Jiao


Coined by the author, the concept “transit desert” is developed from the now common concept of a “food desert,” which is an area where there is limited or no access to fresh food (Clark et al. 2002; Jiao et al. 2012; Whelan et al. 2002; Wrigley 1993; Wrigley et al. 2002). The food desert concept has received a lot of attention and influenced planning policies and practices. By applying the same idea to transit systems within urban areas, geographic areas can be identified where there is a lack of transit service. This involves identifying the transit dependent populations as a measure of transit demand, calculating the transit supply, and then subtracting the supply from the demand to measure the gap (Jiao & Dillivan 2013). In detail, transit dependent populations are those who might require transit service to get around more than other people. The transit supply is measured by aggregating a number of criteria that contribute to better transit access and measured within a designated geographic area. Transit deserts are defined as areas where the transit demand is significantly greater than the supply.


Public Transit, GIS

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