CNT in the News

See How Your Town’s Transit Stacks Up to Hundreds of Other Cities

Wired | April 21, 2016

IN THE WORLD of public transit, data is a valuable thing. And historically, it’s been the purview of public transit agencies. They’re the folks who know where the buses are, and they use their own, often archaic systems—paper schedules mounted on bus shelters, for example—to dole out select info to the public.

In recent years, that dynamic has changed. Cities, states, and countries are embracing the idea of open data, turning all their information over to any company, group, or citizen interested in doing something productive with it. In an era where smartphones are nearly as common as people with hands, government is now the platform, not the product.

When’s your bus actually going to show up? How do you get from the dog park to that new music venue? Want to share your route with friends in real time? Apps with answers abound.

Still, all those data sets, provided by a plethora of public agencies, have been fragmented. If you wanted to know how your transit agency stacks up with the one across the river, or how well served your part of town is compared to your coworkers’, you were signing up for a lot of work. That’s now changed, thanks to a new tool appropriately called “AllTransit.”

The impressively comprehensive online tool was released this week by the nonprofit research institutes Center for Neighborhood Technology and TransitCenter. The result of a year spent compiling data from 805 agencies, 543,787 stop locations, and 15,070 routes across the country, the tool provides an unprecedented look into nationwide transit access and equity.

AllTransit promises to assess the quality of transit in your neighborhood—or your congressional district, or your city, or your region, or your state. Plugging any of these into the tool and you get an “AllTransit Performance Score” on a ten-point scale. The score rewards places where transit connects lots of households to lots of jobs, where buses and trains come frequently, and where high shares of commuters use transit to get to work.

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How Does Your Block Rank on Transit Access?

Next City | April 20, 2016

A nifty new tool reveals how well your city’s public transit shuttles people back and forth between where they live and work. The interactive tool, released Tuesday by TransitCenter and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, provides insight into how many jobs are within a half-hour transit commute of an address, how many commuters in a given area bike to work and more. AllTransit aggregates data from more than 800 transit agencies into a comprehensive set of metrics and maps that break down public transportation opportunities by census block.

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This Tool Maps Transit, Block by Block, for 300 Cities

Bloomberg Technology | April 19, 2016

More than 800 municipal transit agencies in 287 cities across the U.S. contributed data to the project, called AllTransit. It shows, in neighborhood-level detail, where people live and work and how well public transit shuttles them back and forth. The agency data are combined with data from the Census Bureau, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and the Department of Agriculture. 

Cities have emerged in recent years as laboratories where technology can enhance health, efficiency, and livability. Mayors, city councils, and infrastructure companies have all benefited from systemic data collection. AllTransit puts an enormous amount of information in the hands of anybody with a browser window open and offers sample profiles to show how you might use the data: A small business looking for an underserved transit hub to set up shop. Home hunters seeking a well-connected suburb or part of town.

The AllTransit project is the work of the nonprofit Center for Neighborhood Technology, which built a tool a few years ago that lets anyone see what housing and transportation costs add up to all over the U.S. AllTransit was funded by TransitCenter, a group that funds and helps manage projects that improve public transportation. 

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Mapping The Best And Worst Places For Transit In The U.S.

Fast Co.Exist | April 19, 2016

Some American cities, like New York, have world-leading transit systems: you can go most places without taking a car. Some places—like Arlington, Texas—you really have to take a car: there's barely any transit at all.

Among cities of 100,000-plus people, New York and Arlington represent two poles in the urban universe: the best and worst cities for transit, according to a new tool from the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and TransitCenter, two non-profits. AllTransit maps 15,000 routes and 543,000 transit stops nationwide, and ranks cities by their performance across three metrics: availability and frequency of service, and how much the service is used.

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An Exhaustive and Accessible Transit Database Has Finally Arrived

CityLab | April 19, 2016

As the social and economic benefits of transit become clearer and clearer, a parade of data-driven maps and websites have tried to evaluate transit access in major American cities: where buses and trains go, who they serve, how effectively, and how often.

Tuesday marks the launch of AllTransit, the most exhaustive and accessible such resource yet. A joint project of the Center for Neighborhood Technology and TransitCenter, it assembles the largest collection of transit data anywhere—543,000 transit stops, 800 transit agencies, and 15,000 routes nationwide, according to the site. That in itself is a major public service, since agencies aren’t (as of yet) required by the DOT to open up their data about connectivity, access, and frequency. AllTransit doesn’t offer that data raw (not for free, at least), but it does offer a number of useful ways to explore it.

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Parking rules seen as barrier to affordable housing

Evanston Now | March 30, 2016

A new study from the Center for Neighborhood Technology says government rules continue to force housing developers to provide an excessive amount of parking, which inflates housing costs.

The latest study looked at 40 market-rate and subsidized housing developments in Chicago and found that at 4 a.m., when most tenants have parked their cars and are asleep in bed, many parking spaces remain empty.

The developments studied provided on average two parking spots for every three units, but at 4 a.m. only half the available slots were filled.

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