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Walk Score Methodology

Walk Score measures the walkability of any address, Transit Score measures access to public transit, and Bike Score measures whether a location is good for biking.

The Walk Score methodology was developed with the Walk Score advisory board and has been validated by leading academic researchers.

Planners and Analysts: Learn about using Walk Score data in your research.

Walk Score

Walk Score

Walk Score measures the walkability of any address using a patented system. For each address, Walk Score analyzes hundreds of walking routes to nearby amenities. Points are awarded based on the distance to amenities in each category. Amenities within a 5 minute walk (.25 miles) are given maximum points. A decay function is used to give points to more distant amenities, with no points given after a 30 minute walk.

Walk Score also measures pedestrian friendliness by analyzing population density and road metrics such as block length and intersection density. Data sources include Google, Education.com, Open Street Map, the U.S. Census, Localeze, and places added by the Walk Score user community.

Walk Score® Description
90–100 Walker's Paradise
Daily errands do not require a car.
70–89 Very Walkable
Most errands can be accomplished on foot.
50–69 Somewhat Walkable
Some errands can be accomplished on foot.
25–49 Car-Dependent
Most errands require a car.
0–24 Car-Dependent
Almost all errands require a car.

The most walkable large U.S. cities are New York, San Francisco and Boston.

Transit Score

Transit Score

Transit Score is a patented 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 normalized to a score between 0 - 100.

View a map of where we provide Transit Score — or for a full Transit Score geek out, read the detailed Transit Score methodology.

Transit Score® Description
90–100 Rider's Paradise
World-class public transportation.
70–89 Excellent Transit
Transit is convenient for most trips.
50–69 Good Transit
Many nearby public transportation options.
25–49 Some Transit
A few nearby public transportation options.
0–24 Minimal Transit
It is possible to get on a bus.

The highest transit ranking U.S. cities are New York, San Francisco and Boston.

Bike Score

Bike Score

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.

Bike Score Description
90–100 Biker's Paradise
Daily errands can be accomplished on a bike.
70–89 Very Bikeable
Biking is convenient for most trips.
50–69 Bikeable
Some bike infrastructure.
0–49 Somewhat Bikeable
Minimal bike infrastructure.

The most bikeable large U.S. cities are Portland, San Francisco and Denver.

Crime Grade

B

The Crime Grade measures your personal (violent) crime risk and property crime risk near an address on an A - D scale using a patent-pending system. Our crime data is imported directly from police departments.

To compute the Crime Grade we aggregate crimes near an address and weight them by severity and distance. We calculate a per capita crime rate for an address based on the resident and worker population in the area. Crime rates are then compared against city-wide rates and converted into a letter grade.

Crime Grade Description
A Lowest Crime Area
Safest 25% of neighborhoods.
B Lower Crime Area
Safer than average neighborhood.
C Average Crime Area
Talk to the neighbors to learn more.
D Higher Crime Area
Least safe 10% of neighborhoods.

City & Neighborhood Rankings

Walk Score Point Grid

To rank cities and neighborhoods, we calculate the Walk Score of approximately every city block (technically a grid of latitude and longitude points spaced roughly 500 feet apart).

Each point is weighted by population density so that the rankings reflect where people live and so that neighborhoods and cities do not have lower scores because of parks, bodies of water, etc.

For our Walk Score ranking, we define "large cities" as the 50 largest U.S. cities. For our Transit Score and Bike Score ranking, we define "large cities" as cities with more than 500,000 people.

View all cities and neighborhoods.