Tuesday, October 25, 2011

basics: walking distance to transit

The question of walking distance in transit is much bigger than it seems.  A huge range of consequential decisions -- including stop spacing, network structure, travel time, reliability standards, frequency and even mode choice -- depend on assumptions about how far customers will be willing to walk.  The same issue also governs the amount of money an agency will have to spend on predictably low-ridership services that exist purely for social-service or "equity" reasons.
Yesterday I received an email asking about how walking distance standards vary around the world.  I don't know the whole world, but in the countries I've worked in (US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) the view is pretty consistent:
If you have to choose a single walking distance standard for all situations, the most commonly cited standard is 400m or 1/4 mi.  Europe tends to be comfortable with slightly longer distances.

photo by Gilderic

similar posts about walkability:

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