- Huang, Jie and David Levinson (2015) Circuity in Urban Transit Networks. Journal of Transport Geography. 48 pp. 145-153 [doi]
This paper investigates the circuity of transit networks and examines auto mode share as a function of circuity and accessibility to better understand the performance of urban transit systems. We first survey transit circuity in the Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota region in detail, comparing auto and transit trips. This paper finds that circuity can help to explain mode choices of commuters. We then investigate thirty-five additional metropolitan areas in the United States. The results from these areas show that transit circuity exponentially declines as travel time increases. Moreover, we find that the circuity of transit networks is higher than that of road networks, illustrating how transit systems choose to expand their spatial coverage at the expense of directness and efficiency in public transportation networks. This paper performs a regression analysis, which suggests that the circuity of transportation networks can estimate transit accessibility, which helps to explain mode share.
Key words: circuity, accessibility, transit networks, network efficiency, mode share, public transportation