Investigating the Linkage Between Transit Access to Services and Affordable Housing Availability

Access to basic services and opportunities is an important factor in many decisions people make regarding travel and residential location. Today we see the results of this in suburbs, as those with means to reside there do so and access services such as education, healthcare, food and employment primarily via personal vehicles. As both residents and services have oriented themselves within this paradigm many cities have been left with fewer and fewer opportunities for those remaining in the city. Oftentimes, these residents tend to be those who lack the resources to move to places with better access to jobs, schools and other services and amenities. Further, those without the means to move also represent those for whom owning a vehicle is most onerous and therefore would benefit most from public transportation providing access to these opportunities. The proposed research will focus on two topics mutually supportive of the theme “increase access to opportunities that promote equity in connecting regions and communities”: 1) Develop a methodology for measuring service-specific (i.e., healthcare, food, jobs) access to opportunities via the public transportation system across a region. 2) Apply this methodology to a Hartford, Connecticut case study in which these metrics are used to identify areas currently lacking in access, and those that have good access and present opportunities for affordable housing investment.