Evaluating transportation equity: Focusing on transit deserts and transit-dependent population

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

International Conference on Transportation and Development 2021: Transportation Planning and Development - Selected Papers from the International Conference on Transportation and Development 2021



First Page


Last Page



The City of Chicago, with the second-largest public transit authority operating the nation, has undoubtedly a large and robust transit network; however, are they providing equal public transportation services to all of its residents, particularly those who are transit-dependent? To answer this question, in this study, we evaluated transportation equity throughout the city by a series of spatial analyses, identifying the transit-dependent hot spots within the city and transit-desert areas, for which we use data sets of current service areas and service quality. The results of this study found multiple areas throughout the City of Chicago that had a high demand for transportation but were not being met with adequate transit frequency. The majority of the discovered transit desert areas were located in the poor neighborhoods at the far south side and west side of the city. The findings of this study can assist in policy developments and planning transportation equity challenges.


Urban and Regional Planning