New App Lets You Visualize Cleveland Travel Times for Biking, Walking, Public Transit


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A new app allows users to accurately plan trips (or visualize potential trips) based on travel time as opposed to mileage. The Travel Time platform creates maps for biking, walking, driving and public transit from customizeable starting locations and departure times. 

One of the platform's effects is the ability to visualize the expansive ways driving opens up the world for residents in Northeast Ohio. Roughly one in four Clevelanders doesn't own a car, and the public transit system does not effectively and efficiently get them to the many places they might have reason to go, including low-paying jobs in far-flung suburbs.

Compare the map above — where you can get in 3o minutes or less on public transit from the West Bank of the Flats — to the one below, which superimposes the above over a map of where you can get in 30 minutes in a  car from the same location.


Transit consultant Jarrett Walker, when presenting the results of his RTA redesign study last month, stressed that increasing the number of locations that people could get to in a reasonable amount of time via transit was a way of increasing freedom, because one's world is bound by the limits of their transit access. These maps should remind car owners of their privilege, and should demonstrate the value of a frequent, reliable, expanded transit network for the region's well-being, to say nothing of the planet's survival.

Public and private officials are these days spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to study the feasibility of the Hyperloop, an imaginary high-speed shuttle via vacuum tube that would theoretically transport riders from Cleveland to Chicago in 28 minutes. The dismay and even disgust of RTA riders should be superfluous to note — they can't even get to Glenville, Old Brooklyn or West Park in 28 minutes.

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