Polytechnique Montreal

Catherine Morency is a civil engineer and associate professor at Polytechnique Montreal. Since 2010, she is head of the Mobility research Chair on the implementation of sustainability in transportation. Her research focuses on the modelling of individual travel behaviours and includes all modes of transportation (car, transit, car sharing, bike sharing, ridesharing, walking and cycling).

How equitable is accessibility to transit?

Equity is a key concept when one wants to appreciate how sustainable a project, policy or measure is. People can attach various meanings to equity: a precise definition, applicable to transportation and mobility, may not be that easy to agree on. Trying to move forward by proposing a quantification of the level of equity of specific services or policies is even more challenging but seems inevitable to facilitate its inclusion in decision making frameworks. This research focuses on accessibility of transit services and proposes various measures describing how this accessibility varies in space (home locations, activity locations), time (time of the day, day of the week, period of the year) and across population segments (population vs. vulnerable segments: elderly, low-income households, children, single-parents families, etc.). It uses the Montreal case for demonstration and namely benefits from the availability of GTFS (General transit feed specification) files describing transit services (stops and schedule). Since the proposed indicators rely on standardised file formats and free resources (Google Maps API for instance), it can be easily transposed to other urban settings. Data from the Canadian censuses as well as from the large-scale Origin-Destination travel surveys will also contribute to the analysis.