University of Minnesota

National Accessibility Evaluation Pooled-Fund Study

This pooled-fund project, led by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, will implement a measurement of accessibility to jobs across the entire U.S. Each pooled-fund partner will have direct digital access to detailed accessibility datasets. In addition, annual reports will summarize patterns and trends in accessibility across the country.

About the Study

Transportation projects are undertaken to provide connectivity — the ability for people or things to physically travel — between locations, or to lower travel times where connectivity already exists. As long-term infrastructure investments, transportation systems are not built to satisfy individual trips at specific times, but rather to provide capacity that can be used to satisfy a huge variety of potential trips over the system's lifetime. This potential for interaction can be regarded as the fundamental product of transportation systems.

Accessibility metrics directly reflect this potential by combining network travel times with the locations and value of the many origins and destinations served by a multimodal transportation system. Accessibility combines the simpler concept of mobility with an understanding that travel is driven by a desire to reach destinations.

Data Sources

Accurate accessibility measurements rely on detailed, up-to-date information about transportation networks.

  • Transit: Digital schedule datasets, published by transit agencies across the country, describe the minute-by-minute arrivals and departures of buses, trains, streetcars, and ferries. These schedules are combined with pedestrian network data from OpenStreetMap to calculate door-to-door travel times for transit trips.
  • Driving: TomTom's MultiNet and Speed Profile datasets provide road network and historical speed information with coverage of the entire U.S., from freeways to local streets.


This pooled-fund project is supported by the following partners:

  • Minnesota Department of Transportation (lead agency)
  • Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department
  • California Department of Transportation
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Florida Department of Transportation
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Iowa Department of Transportation
  • Maryland State Highway Administration
  • Massachusetts Department of Transportation
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Tennessee Department of Transportation
  • Virginia Department of Transportation
  • Washington, DC, District Department of Transportation
  • Washington State Department of Transportation
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Join the Study

Many types of organizations are invited to join this pooled-fund project, including state DOTs, MPOs, county and municipal governments, and transit agencies. For information about joining the project, use the Lead Agency Contact information provided on the official project information page, or contact Accessibility Observatory staff.

More Information

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