California High-Speed Rail (CHSR) will largely change transportation cost across the state after it starts operating. Past studies show that only Fresno and Merced among station cities in the Central Valley would attract more future activities with the CHSR. The establishment of active CHSR also implies a new daily living sphere for all the station cities, and, therefore, accessibility to work and residential amenities should be reviewed to inform planners of future land-use and transportation developments. A research framework has been developed better to understand the impact of CHSR on job and amenity accessibility by driving, transit, and walking in Fresno and Merced. The results show the opportunity cost of accessibility for using CHSR for a 25-minute ride from Fresno to Merced and vice versa. The study then compares the original accessibility reached in the home city within 45 minutes and the accessibility reached from the station in the other city within the remaining time after arriving at the station from home. A t-test was also used to examine whether the newly accessible jobs and amenities are significantly better with the CHSR. Finally, these results were mapped in contours showing equal accessibility before and after the start of CHSR operation for all blog groups in the two cities. This study not only adds to the literature on the impact of high-speed-rails on accessibility to jobs and amenities, but also contributes to the practice of public transit and car-sharing for better accessibility by providing planning information through the mapping of the results.

Publication Date

Spring 5-2024

Publication Type



Planning and Policy, Sustainable Transportation and Land Use, Transit and Passenger Rail, Transportation Engineering

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Accessibility, High-speed rail, Urban planning, Transportation planning, Spatial analysis


Infrastructure | Transportation | Transportation Engineering | Urban Studies and Planning