La Grange, Wilmette and Arlington Heights were ranked at the top of a list of Chicago’s commuter-friendliest suburbs, according to a new study out today from DePaul University.
The report evaluated the region’s suburbs on the basis of their attractiveness to those with lifestyles oriented toward the use of public transportation.
Researchers at DePaul’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development developed an index consisting of 47 measurable factors used to identify the top 20 transit suburbs of metropolitan Chicago.
The report rated the suburbs according to three main criteria: commuter-rail service available seven days a week, with at least 14 inbound departures on weekdays, including some express trains; used by at least 150 people who walk or bike to the train daily; and a as measured by “walk score” of how walkable the downtown stations were ranked.
“We wanted to reward communities that are creating great transit environments, but we also wanted to prod communities to start worrying about the small things that make commuters’ lives miserable or difficult,” said Joseph Schwieterman, a DePaul professor who authored the study.
The study’s index considered the station facilities, amenities and services available to those traveling without a car, the vibrancy of retail areas adjacent to commuter-rail stations, and a community’s public transportation culture as demonstrated by the number and share of residents who walk or bike to the train.
The study said this ranking is a useful tool for planners, designers and developers seeking to create attractive suburban environments that reduce reliance on private automobile travel, as well as for prospective homeowners and real estate professionals. Click here to view read the full report.