Photo: Radek Kilijanek

Mobility Needs are Never Static.

Replica offers a full-day portrait of a city’s travel patterns, and provides essential context: who’s traveling, where they’re going, and why they’re on the move.

3 min readMar 9, 2021


It’s surprisingly difficult to assess the performance of a public transit system. It’s even harder to determine how the transit map meets the evolving mobility needs of a region’s population. Bus and rail routes often reflect the trip making needs experienced by yesterday’s population.

New development and changing employment patterns mean that mobility needs are never static. Metrics like ridership and service reliability certainly tell part of the story, but they don’t provide a great view of the share of potential transit trips being served. And they don’t offer insight into whether current routing aligns with dynamic demand. Fresno County, where rapid population growth has occurred in both the urban core and the surrounding suburbs, offers a useful case study.

With Replica, we can quickly visualize the areas where current transit coverage aligns with real and potential demand. This information is much richer and more comprehensive than traditional study inputs, like Census journey to work data. Replica offers a full-day portrait of a city’s travel patterns and provides essential context: who’s traveling, where they’re going, and why they’re on the move.

In this analysis, we filter to show trips ending in Fresno that are between 1–16 miles. We eliminate trips that could be made on foot and those that might be too long for local transit. We’ve also limited the selection to show only trips made by individuals whose household income is less than $100,000. This set of customizable filters allows us to focus on the trips we think are the likeliest candidates for transit. The ability to toggle and adjust these filters also facilitates quick comparison of a range of scenarios, allowing planners to explore different methods without increasing time or cost of the work.

In the second map, we used the geospatial files provided by Replica to overlay the current Fresno Area Express bus routes on our trip-making map. We see immediately that areas on the outskirts of Fresno aren’t covered by the transit map. And we also observe that fast-growing Fresno suburbs, like Madera, Kerman, and Sanger, that account for large numbers of daily trips to Fresno, lack direct connections to the city. While the core of the city appears to be well-served, additional analysis could be used to determine the share of trips that could be served by one-seat rides.

Over the past two years, we’ve worked with Caltrans, the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) to provide mobility data and transportation insights for the Sacramento region and we’re excited to bring the same value to everyone in California.

From today through March 31st, Replica is making both its Places and Trends products available at no cost to all state and local public sector employees in California. Sign up today for immediate access.

Your trial will include access to two Replica Places Megaregions — Northern California and Southern California — covering the entirety of the state of California, as well as Nevada. Together, these two models cover 42 million people.




Replica is a data platform for the built environment. Our mission is to make complex and rapidly-changing cities easier to understand.