The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) in early September released the National Transit Map data, a geospatial database containing the information from 270 transit agencies that provides open, machine-readable data about their stops, routes, and schedules. This new U.S. DOT initiative will help pinpoint “transit deserts”—areas that lack sufficient services.

The national, openly available map of fixed-guideway and fixed-route transit service in America will allow the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to demonstrate the importance and role of transit in American society and to identify and address gaps in access to public transportation. It will also support research, planning and analysis on the benefits of transit, such as the economic impacts of transit on a community’s economic development, or on reducing poverty in low-income neighborhoods.