During the past week, we worked on mapping different factors involving in job accessibility through public transport based on the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Low Poverty Index, which represents the “depth and intensity of poverty in a given neighborhood.” This index is a linear combination of two values: family poverty rate (pv), and the percentage of households receiving public assistance (pa). The Low Poverty Index ranges between 0 and 100, with 0 representing the poorest neighborhoods and 100 representing the most affluent neighborhoods.
Low Poverty Index:
Using this poverty data along with employment data from ARC, we created a mapping tool to visualize the intersection between poverty, jobs, and public transit in Atlanta. The tool shows the Atlanta metro area by census tract with MARTA routes overlaid on top. A slider on the left controls poverty level, and brings into view tracts that have a lower or equal Low Poverty Index as the value set in the slider. The tracts that are visible are colored according to the number of jobs in that census tract. Through this tool, users can get a sense of a neighborhood’s access to public transit and the number of jobs available locally in the neighborhood. The tool can be accessed at http://transit.moqri.com.
The heart of metro Atlanta has fairly good access to public transit. This map shows the central part of the city with the Low Poverty index set to 25, meaning that the tracts that are colored are the less affluent neighborhoods. The darker red tracts downtown reflect the high number jobs available there.
While access to public transit is good in the heart of Atlanta, public transit does not extend into much of the outer metro area. Many of the outlying poorer areas that can be seen on this map lack access to public transit. Some, like the census tracts to the north, still have access to many jobs locally. Those neighborhoods to the south, east, and west however, have few jobs, high poverty, and no access to greater job opportunity through public transit.