About the NOACA Workforce Accessibility & Mobility System


Transportation access for workers to jobs is important to the economic vitality of a region, and is a social equity issue with regards to environmental justice populations. The greater the access to employment by all modes of transportation for the population of a region, the more economically competitive a region will be in the global economy. When jobs are easier to access for all workers and also lower income and minority populations, the entire region improves socially and economically.

Most researchers and databases present one-dimensional workforce information such as the number of available workers, jobs, etc. in administrative or community jurisdictions such as villages, cities, states, etc. The NOACA Workforce Accessibility and Mobility System offers a novel approach for adding modal travel time measures as the second dimension to workforce information. This system combines the existing workforce database with work commute times during the AM peak period in the NOACA region to provide abundant information for practitioners, transportation and urban planners and decision makers.

The NOACA Workforce Accessibility and Mobility System measures travel time accessibility using two modes of transportation: automobile and public transit. For each employment center, the system creates travel time sheds using the commute time of workers living in neighborhoods throughout the NOACA region. The congested travel time data are mined from the NOACA travel forecasting model, and the average work trip AM peak period times for each home location ZIP code are calculated for both automobile and public transit travel.

Information is provided at three geographical levels:

  • Inter-county visualization of work trips between counties
  • Zipcode level travel sheds for analysing commuting patterns
  • Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) based travel sheds with advanced tools for time reduction scenarios and worker population reports
The following section provide descriptions for each level of analysis. It should be noted that TAZs are the primary unit of analysis in the travel modeling process and simply are residential neighborhoods or places of employment.

County Level Work Trips

The County level maps simply display the number of inter-county trips; specifically work trips by auto and public transit modes. Use the county drop-down menu to display a map showing the percent of work trips between the select county and adjacent counties.

Zip Code Level Work Commute

The Zip Code level tool generates travel sheds using work commuting data. The steps of this module are:

1. Select a transportation mode: Auto or Transit.

2. Select a job hub commute destination or zip code.

Job Hub

Selecting this option presents a list of regional job hubs. Select any job hub to generate a travel shed map.

By Zip Code

Use this option to select a single zip code from the drop-down list. A travel shed map will be generated showing all the origin zip codes symbolized by travel time.

Multiple Zip Codes

This option allow you to select mutiple adjacent zipcodes by clicking them on the map. As you select each zip code the travel shed is automatically re-generated. All selected zip codes must be adjacent to each other or the results will be in error. To clear your selections simply check the red ""X" next to the list of selected zip codes.

TAZ Level Work Commute

The Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) level tool generates travel time sheds using granular work commuting data. The steps of this module are: Generate travel sheds using Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) level commuting data.

1. Select a method of identifying an employment center: by major regional job hub or TAZ. The Job Hub option allows you to select from a list of predefined major job hubs.

2. Select a transportation mode: Auto or Transit.

3. If TAZ was selected in step 1, there are three options for you to select TAZs.

  • Entering the TAZ number
  • Clicking one or more adjacent TAZ polygons on the map
  • Drawing a polygon on the map

4. View a Workforce Summary report

5. Use the Travel Time Savings Wizard to make scenario based travel cost adjustements.

Non-motorized Commutes

This map shows the travel sheds for cycling and walking. It uses TAZ level data similar to the TAZ Level Work Commute tool.

1. Select a non-motorized transportation mode: Bike or Walk.

2. Select only one TAZ. Do this by clicking one on the map or enter a TAZ number in the input box. Most TAZ's are very small, so zoom and navigate the map to your area of interest to make a selection.

3. Click "Go" to generate the travel shed. You can toggle the Bike/Walk mode buttons to compare the ranges on the maps.