We recently moved to Rohnert Park, a small (north of San Francisco) community of roughly 41,000 people.
I love it here. The town is bikeable and walkable. By bike, I can get to the local grocery store in less than 10 minutes and to my bank in less than 15.
And in less than 20, I can walk to Cotati’s newest SMART train station.
The Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (or SMART) started special service this summer, transporting folks from Santa Rosa to San Rafael. Though a start date for full, regular service has yet to be announced, if you were lucky, you might have managed to snag a ride during one of SMART’s free ride days.
On the first day SMART was open to the public, I wasn’t so lucky. But I still wanted to take the ride down to San Rafael. So, I decided to do it virtually – via a map.
Of course, I had to add some spatial analysis and data.
Using both ArcMap Desktop and ArcGIS Online geoprocessing tools, I determined a (driveable) 5 minute service area around each currently-to-be-opened station and then added some basic demographic data to those areas (shown in green blobs, dark shades indicate a larger population served).
The summary tab at the bottom tallies the total potential population served (within 5 minutes of each station), the average household income of that population, and averages the population diversity index (the larger the number, the more likely two random folks are not of the same race).
Feel free to zoom in and explore the map. It’s interesting (to me, at least) to see the difference of service areas surrounding each station. For example, Rohnert Park’s 5 minute service area is smaller than Cotati’s (presumably because it’s faster to get around Cotati than Rohnert Park). This leads to a lower population served by Rohnert Park (9,873 people) versus Cotati (29,449 people) even though they are only 4 minutes (1.24 miles) apart.
Some thing tells me the Cotati train station might be more popular than Rohnert Park’s station.
Until we all get a chance to ride the train, what other insights might you find on this map?