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CoAXs: interactive mapping for measuring and communicating transit’s accessibility impacts to support co-creative planning


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When evaluating transport projects, accessibility measures provide insights into the potential for wider economic benefits that may accrue through agglomeration effects; these measures are recognized as a way to connect land use and transportation planning. Similarly, emerging evidence suggests that accessibility measures can effectively connect complex technical analyses with narratives more easily understood and used by community stakeholders. A consolidated class of accessibility measures could thus potentially be the foundation for co-creative planning in which stakeholders work actively with planners to evaluate wider impacts (i.e. impacts not considered in traditional cost-benefit analyses of travel time savings) of transport investment. This potential would be enhanced if tools to calculate and communicate the measures, and probable winners and losers from a project, are sufficiently relatable, transparent, and understandable. This paper describes the development and preliminary testing of an open-source stakeholder engagement tool, built on the OpenTripPlanner/Transport Analyst software and called CoAXs, that seeks to support co-creative transport planning. Preliminary tests using the example of bus rapid transit corridors in Boston, Massachusetts, suggest that accessibility measures effectively highlight the land use and equity impacts of public transit investments, and that CoAXs can aid discussions of how to value these wider impacts.

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