A DART train downtown. Photo by Kelsey Shoemaker.
Redfin, the national real estate brokerage, likes to release free press-generating rankings of cities using their proprietary TransitScore, which relies on the “usefulness” of public transit routes in a given city. Usefulness here is a measure of “the distance to the nearest stop on the route, the frequency of the route, and type of route.”
The 2018 rankings are out, and New York City’s recent subway woes were not enough to knock it from the No. 1 spot. San Francisco, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia round out the top five. Dallas is farther down the list than I wanted to count, but the city’s TransitScore of 40, which Redfin qualifies as “some transit,” puts us near the middle of the pack among big cities. Worse than Denver, better than Detroit.
If officials and transportation planners are looking to take anything from the rankings, it may be this: steal ideas from Seattle, which has leapt up the Redfin list. In the last seven years, while the city’s population has boomed, Seattle has seen the number of commuters using public transit to get to work downtown increase by 48 percent. That’s happened as Seattle invests in new light rail and higher-frequency bus service, and as, not coincidentally, the city’s become a magnet for the kind of young professionals North Texas business leaders are so eager to attract.