Out of the Loop: Transit Deserts, Health and Well-Being in Chicago
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This project explores access to public transportation in the city of Chicago through the Chicago Transit Authority’s light-rail train network, referred to as the ‘L’. Using this network, we investigated the correlation between areas lacking transit access, or “transit deserts,” in relation to health and well-being throughout the city. To identify this correlation, we identified and mapped four public health and well-being indicators across the city: pharmacies, green space, government assisted food programs, and public technology. These maps were compiled, and census tracts were grouped to determine Key Underserved Areas (KUAs), which indicated that parts of the city are lacking access to both public transportation and well-being resources. With these findings, we were able to articulate that populations that lacked access to public transit were also often populations lacking access to public health and well-being indicators. These populations largely consisted of ethnic minority and low-income Chicago residents. Lastly, we reviewed plans of CTA improvement and development, and discussed their benefits and shortcomings, in regards to better serving our KUAs in the city of Chicago.
Chicago Transit Authority