Expanded version of interactive Bay Area Travel Map released

Expanded version of interactive Bay Area Travel Map released

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How much would you be willing to pay for a house in the Bay Area? And where in the Bay Area can you afford to live for that price? How long would it take to get to work from there? What if you biked?

If you could visualize all these answers simultaneously, and watch how the situation changes over the next 10 or 20 years, you’d be looking at something like the Bay Area Travel Map. The interactive online tool places data from MTC’s regional travel and housing models into the hands of the public, making it fun and easy to explore data about housing costs and travel choices.

“The model is actually a big simulation of everyone in the Bay Area,” says David Ory, a transportation modeler with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. “This is essentially a picture of how 9 million people in the future—and 7 million in the past—behaved on a typical day.” Key features of this mapping tool include the ability to search for housing locations based on price range and desired commute time, and to see how your transportation choices affect the housing options that are available to you. A zoom features makes it possible to see how land use and travel trends affect the whole region, a specific city, or even a single neighborhood.

The new map is an expanded version of the original Bay Area Travel Map, which MTC released in 2011. While the original version focused on the present-day housing and transportation situation, the new map lets users explore past and future scenarios across four decades: 2010, 2020, 2030, and 2040.

With a total of six variables for users to control, the Bay Area Travel Map is a sophisticated tool. Yet the variables in the online map represent only a fraction of the data that planners collect and the trade-offs that they must consider when preparing long-range transportation and housing plans such as Plan Bay Area.