Anyone who has had to rely on public transportation in America knows that it doesn’t always work well. Short, simple journeys can become painfully long trips as buses break down, subways are late and transfers have to be made in order to get where you want to go.
There is a new effort to create a national transit map to find the places in America that are being under-serviced (or not serviced at all) by public transportation methods. A new initiative by the U.S. Transportation Department is compiling transportation data from transportation companies around the country to find transit deserts. They are also hoping to get a more comprehensive look at the state of transportation in the United States and where it can be improved.
The data compiled by the National Transit Map project is open sourced, meaning that anyone can use the data to create their own infographic or graph about America’s transportation system. This database would help organizations around the nation lobby their local, state and federal governments for increased attention towards America’s transportation network.
Those working on the National Transit Map hope to find out where transportation is lacking in the USA and where it can be improved using the existing infrastructure. Creating the space for public transportation isn’t the issue in most cities; rather, it’s using the roads and transportation companies already in place to serve the communities that need them more efficiently.
In some areas there are a lot of public transportation options but they are unused by residents of the area because of variety of reasons. Buses could come at awkward intervals, or be overcrowded at peak times. There could be a lack of transportation to suburban areas but an abundance of them in a downtown area.
The National Transportation Map hopes to gather data that will be helpful for transportation companies and governmental bodies at all levels. Policymakers will be able to see the numbers in front of them and make needed changes to transportation systems around America in the near future.
- How a National Transit Map could connect ‘transit deserts’ to the grid – Washington Post, March 19
- National Transit Map – Bureau of Transportation Statistics