Residential Transit Access

Desired Trend


Current Trend

Baseline (2010): 44%
Current (2020): 37%

Theme Connected


Percent of households within 1/4 mile of a transit stop

Why is it Important?

Public transit advances sustainability by providing affordable transportation that enables residents to access destinations such as work, shopping, school, and social activities. The benefits of public transit increase when more residents use the system – pollution decreases, congestion declines, and the local economy is improved.1 This indicator provides a simple analysis of access by measuring the percent of households that are located within ¼ mile of a transit stop.2 The ¼ mile distance corresponds to a convenient walking time of about 10 minutes. This indicator does not measure the level of access for each household, such as whether the household has access to particular destinations, if they can access those destinations within a reasonable time frame, or the frequency of service. However, it does provide a general picture of access to public transit for residents.

How are we Doing?

In the St. Louis region 37.3 percent of households are located within ¼ mile of a transit stop, which corresponds to about 389,762 households out of a total of 1,045,304. As shown on the map, many households in the city of St. Louis have transit access, and there are corridors or pockets of access in most of the counties. Both the percentage of households and the number of households with access declined from the baseline year while the total number of households in the region increased.

This decrease in transit accessible households is in part due to Madison County Transit transitioning from a “flag-stop” system to a traditional bus stop system in 2014. And, in September 2019, Bi-State implemented a new plan for organizing MetroBus routes in Missouri. Through this process, the agency evaluated and revised all bus routes in Missouri. This resulted in increased frequency along routes with high-ridership and less frequent or discontinuation of service on low-ridership routes.3

Geographic Level

St. Louis eight-county bi-state region, including Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis counties and the city of St. Louis in Missouri and Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair counties in Illinois. View map.


1American Public Transportation Association, Public Transportation Benefits; accessed on 6 March 2014 at

2Transit stops for this indicator include bus and MetroLink stops for Metro Transit, bus stops for the St. Charles Area Transit system, and bus stops for the Madison County Transit (MCT) system. For years prior to 2014, this indicator was calculated using the full length of bus routes for MCT. MCT used a flag stop system in which passengers could get on or off the bus at any intersection. As of 2014 MCT transitioned to designated bus stops.  

3Metro St. Louis website accessed on 24 February 2020 at

Data Sources

American Community Survey, United States Census Bureau