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Abstract

This thesis explores whether there is a relationship between transit access and concentrated disadvantage within Chicago. Using various regression models with different distance thresholds around rail stations, I was able to find a partial relationship between transit access and concentrated disadvantage within Chicago at the limited scale (0.5-mile range from a transit station), indicating that employment rate and health insurance coverage were positively related with transit access, and that minority status was negatively related with transit access. While there were some surprising results at the liberal scale (0.75-1 mile range from a transit station) and conservative scale (1.5-2 mile range from a transit station), most of the results at these scales were insignificant. The main takeaway was that it appears that transit is related to concentrated disadvantage at a smaller-scale, and that existing transit modes, notably the bus, are insufficient at overcoming the “last mile problem” and connecting individuals from transit poor areas to the rail network that can enable these individuals to reach job opportunities, educational opportunities, and healthcare resources in other parts of the city. Recommendations center on increasing mobility options, including the improvement of existing bus services.

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