University of Minnesota

Accessibility Evaluation Services

Accessibility metrics combine the concept of mobility with an understanding of how transportation and land-use systems work together to give people access to destinations. These metrics incorporate both the costs and the benefits of travel—and provide a more complete view of how well cities satisfy travelers’ needs.

Map displaying the changes in the number of jobs accessible by transit in Minneapolis-St. Paul before and after the Green Line LRT.

Sample analysis: Comparison of accessibility to job changes by transit in
Minneapolis-St. Paul before and after the Green Line LRT.

The Accessibility Observatory is the only organization in the nation focused on measuring transportation accessibility. Its research and analysis services allow organizations such as state DOTs, transit agencies, and metropolitan planning organizations to analyze, evaluate, and plan transportation systems and land use in their areas. The Observatory’s work also allows organizations to benchmark themselves against other regions using the same methodology and data.

The Observatory can provide cutting-edge accessibility evaluation tailored to meet your needs. Services can range from a complete project to a component of a larger effort. Services may include:

Custom Accessibility Evaluation

Deliverables can include detailed accessibility datasets, customized summary datasets, and reports describing methodology and results. Accessibility evaluations can be based on existing network and land-use datasets, data collected by the Observatory, or custom-developed data (described below).

Develop Scenario Network Datasets

Drawing from existing plans or scenario descriptions, the Observatory can create transit and/ or road network datasets suitable for use in accessibility evaluation projects. This allows meaningful comparisons between a baseline/no-build scenario and multiple investment or service scenarios.

Develop Scenario Land-Use Datasets

The Observatory can process existing land-use scenario or forecast data for compatibility and use in accessibility evaluation or construct new land-use scenarios from baseline data.

Custom Accessibility Summaries and Reports

Customized analysis of existing data published by the Accessibility Observatory can provide new insights without the need for new accessibility calculations. Examples include regional transportation equity analysis, location suitability analysis, and custom mapping and visualization. The Observatory will help identify existing accessibility datasets that can meet your needs.

To learn how the Accessibility Observatory could provide services for your community, please contact Andrew Owen, Director, at 612-624-7550,

Download the accessibility evaluation services one-pager (PDF)

The Accessibility Observatory is a program of the Center for Transportation Studies.