Walk Score Methodology
We like to be transparent about how Walk Score works — and we love hearing your feedback.
Planners and Researchers: Learn about using Walk Score data.
The Walk Score Algorithm
Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking.
Walk Score uses a patent-pending system to measure the walkability of an address. The Walk Score algorithm awards points based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within .25 miles receive maximum points and no points are awarded for amenities further than one mile.
Walk Score uses a variety of data sources including Google, Education.com, Open Street Map, and Localeze. Since nobody knows your neighborhood better than you do, you can add and remove places from Walk Score.
We are currently gathering feedback on a beta version of "Street Smart" Walk Score. Type your address below to give it a try.
Transit Score is a measure of how well a location is served by public transit. Transit Score is based on data released in a standard format by public transit agencies.
To calculate a Transit Score, we assign a "usefulness" value to nearby transit routes based on the frequency, type of route (rail, bus, etc.), and distance to the nearest stop on the route. The "usefulness" of all nearby routes is summed and we normalize this to a score between 0 - 100. For a full Transit Score geek out, read the Transit Score methodology.
Bike Score measures whether an area is good for biking. For a given location, a Bike Score is calculated by measuring bike infrastructure (lanes, trails, etc.), hills, destinations and road connectivity, and the number of bike commuters.
These component scores are based on data from city governments, the USGS, OpenStreetMap, and the U.S. Census.
Read the detailed Bike Score methodology.
Walk Score Heatmaps and Rankings
We sampled the Walk Score of 10,017,714 locations to create walkability heatmaps and rankings for the largest 2,500 U.S. cities.
The most walkable neighborhoods and ZIP codes are calculated by applying the Walk Score algorithm block by block throughout the city. We weight scores by population density and then group them into neighborhoods or ZIP codes. For the details, read our rankings methodology page.
How Walk Score Doesn't Work
There are a number of factors (pedestrian design, safety, etc.) that contribute to walkability but are difficult to measure with an algorithm. Read how Walk Score doesn't work.