Walk Score recently announced Apartment Search. Apartment Search is a terrifically useful new feature that helps people find a convenient place to live according to where and how they commute.
Here’s how it works (from the Walk Score blog):
To get started, visit walkscore.com/apartments and enter your work (or school) address, select your preferred mode of transportation, and tell us how long you’re willing to commute.
Apartment listings from craigslist are automatically sorted by estimated commute time and can be further filtered by Walk Score, price and size.
The site allows its users to see apartments and house rentals within a given transit commute time of their work or school. In addition, a “Near Transit” button allows the user to see all properties that are within a given distance to a transit stop. When this filter is turned on, transit routes appear and the area with a specified proximity of stops is highlighted. Here’s how this looks for Redding, California, below.
This feature works for transit agencies that make General Transit Feed Specification data publicly available at GTFS Data Exchange. It is another great reason to make GTFS data public.
Applications like Apartment Search and Walk Score can help induce more regular ridership. These applications helps transit agencies’ target customers (whether choice or transit-dependent) locate themselves in such a way that they’ll become more inclined ride transit frequently. These applications help a community to value transit service and walkability.
To promote this dynamic, I suggest that transit agencies link to Apartment Search from their websites. Help your customers locate themselves in a way that provides convenient access to your service.