Walk Score® Launches Transit Score™ and Commute Reports

New tools help consumers understand their transportation options

Aug 16, 2010, 00:01 ET from Walk Score

SEATTLE, Aug. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- When deciding where to live and work, not only do you want to know what amenities and services are nearby, you also want to understand your transportation options.  How easily can you walk, bike or take the bus?  How long will it take to get from point A to point B?  And how much will it cost?

Today, Walk Score launched Transit Score, custom commute reports, and a home and transportation costs calculator empowering anyone to quickly understand the proximity of public transportation, their commuting options and associated costs.  This work, funded in part by The Rockefeller Foundation, also enables third parties to easily add public transit information to their websites.

Consumers everywhere are looking to reduce the time and money spent driving.

  • Commuters waste 4.2 billion hours and 2.8 billion gallons of gas in traffic per year. (Source: Texas Transportation Institute)
  • Households in traditional suburbs spend up to 32% of their income on transportation costs, while households in walkable areas with greater access to public transportation spend as little as 12%. (Source: Center for Neighborhood Technology)
  • Neighborhood walkability and access to public transportation has been linked to lower foreclosure rates. (Source: NRDC)

"The costs of driving to and from work and daily activities are only growing, and the time spent in traffic is lost forever," said Josh Herst, Walk Score CEO. "Walk Score's new Transit Score and commute reports make it easy for consumers to quickly understand how much the location of their home and workplace impacts their daily lives."

What's your Transit Score?

Transit Score provides a 0-100 rating indicating how well an address is served by public transportation.  Ratings range from "Rider's Paradises" where multiple transit options are available within a quarter of a mile to areas with limited or no nearby public transportation.

The Transit Score rating is currently available in over 30 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.  For a list of cities where Transit Score is available, see http://www.walkscore.com/transit-score.php.

"The Rockefeller Foundation's transportation initiative is committed to helping Americans re-think our transportation future as a way to expand economic opportunity, and we are excited about the potential impact Transit Score will have in helping Americans make more informed decisions about where they will live and work," said Benjamin de la Pena, Associate Director at The Rockefeller Foundation.  "Transportation costs are often the second highest expense for working Americans and Transit Score will give families more control over their household budgets by providing them with information about their transit choices."

What will your commute be like?

Walk Score now enables customers to type in an address and get a summary of commuting options, including the time it would take to get to your work, school or other location by car, bike and foot and lists nearby public transit stops and routes.  The customized commute report also includes a visual representation of the hills between your home and work to better understand how bikable or walkable the route may be.

Walking, biking and driving directions are provided by Google Maps.  Public transit information is available from over 100 public transit agencies that provide open access to their transit feeds.  For a complete list see http://www.citygoround.org.

Can you really afford this home?

For most families, transportation is the second largest household expense. Walk Score's new home and transportation costs calculator makes it easier for people to understand the true costs of owning or renting in a particular location. Based on a few simple pieces of information, the calculator generates an estimated monthly amount that includes housing and transportation costs.

"Transportation is often a hidden cost in deciding where to live.  By integrating the Center for Neighborhood Technology's Housing + Transportation (H+T(SM)) Affordability Index with Walk Score, we are now making it easier for customers to understand whether a house is truly affordable," says Scott Bernstein, president and founder of CNT.

Transit Score on Your Site

Building on the success of the Walk Score API and Amenity Map currently used by over 4,000 websites, today Walk Score also launched the Public Transit API which enables Web developers to easily add public transportation information to their websites.

With the Public Transit API, real estate and other website owners can show nearby public transit stops on a map, show a text description of nearby transit stops and routes, and show the Transit Score of a specific location.

"Home buyers are increasingly searching for homes that offer 'green' benefits, and having public transit rated for each listing helps home shoppers make the right decision," says Myron Lo, Vice President of Innovation at ZipRealty.  "We are committed to staying ahead of the curve by introducing new features, such as Transit Score, that help our clients make smart and informed home purchase decisions."

For more information about the Public Transit API, please visit http://www.walkscore.com/services.

About Walk Score:  Walk Score is the flagship product of Front Seat, a civic software company based in Seattle, WA.  Walk Score rates any address based on its proximity to nearby amenities (grocery stores, restaurants, schools, public transit, etc.) and promotes walkable neighborhoods for their economic, environmental and health benefits.  Walk Score delivers three million scores per day across a network of over 4,000 websites.  According to independent research conducted by CEOs for Cities, one point of Walk Score is worth as much as $3,000 in home value.  Visit www.walkscore.com for more information.

SOURCE Walk Score