Chapter 30 Transit Accessibility Scoring

Pursuant to Chapter 30 Acts of 2017 (Senate Bill 307) the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) “shall, in accordance with federal transportation requirements, develop a project–based scoring system for major transportation projects using the goals and measures established under [Transportation Article 2-103.7(c)]. This process wil be used for all major projects being considered for inclusion in the Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP). ) An amendment to this law in 2017 defines a “major transportation project” as a highway or transit capacity project that exceeds $5,000,000, and excludes any “projects that are solely for system preservation.”

The Chapter 30 scoring model evaluates projects across nine goals and twenty-three measures that were established in statute, using a combination of project data, modeling analysis, and qualitative questionnaires. A project application process has been established requiring counties and municipalities to submit detailed project information when requesting funding for major transportation projects to ensure the necessary project information and priorities are provided to conduct the scoring.

Among the goals and measures articulated for Chapter 30 projects are “reducing congestion and improving commute times” (goal #3) and “equitable access to transportation” (goal #7). For each of these goals, the State has defined access to jobs as a key measure for project scoring, as shown in the following excerpts from the Chapter 30 Technical Guide.

Measures G3 M1 and G7 M1 both rely on assessing the change in access to jobs attributable to the project. This document focuses on the development of scores for these measures for transit capacity project applications.

Multimodal Accessibility Analysis (MMA) in Maryland

A graphic depicting the connections between an origin to numerous destinations.

The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has for the past several years investigated emerging methods for estimating multimodal accessibility and applications of cumulative accessibility analyses for transportation planning. These efforts have yielded a planning framework referred to as the Multimodal Accessibility (MMA) framework. MMA relies on transportation network analysis and land use data at a variety of scales to measure access to activities of interest (e.g., jobs, essential services, education/training) by multiple travel modes.

In concept, MMA analysis is simple. The goal is to measure travel times from origin zones to destination zones and summarize the activities accessible from each origin zone. The resulting measure describes how well connected each zone is to other zones, accounting for the distribution of activities across all zones and the travel times expected for different system users to reach various destinations. In short, the measure is sensitive to changes in land uses and transportation system performance. It provides insight into travel behaviors such as mode choices and can reveal differences in experienced or expected accessibility for different population groups, such as low-income households and minorities.


Assumed Knowledge

This portion of the guide, which reviews the step-by-step process for scoring Chapter 30 transit project appplications, assumes basic knowledge of the ArcMap interface and the following concepts, tools, and data sources: