Walk Score can tell you a lot about a neighborhood, but it’s always faced a couple of legitimate complaints. One, it doesn’t distinguish between the size, scope, or quality of similar neighborhood amenities, meaning that a Whole Foods and a corner bodega carry equal weight as “grocery stores,” or that a Southwest Side home with a playlot right around the corner might get more “parks” points than a home that’s four blocks west of Lincoln Park. Two, despite its focus on alternatives to driving, the site didn’t figure mass transit into its equations.
I don’t know if they’ll ever find a way to improve the former situation, but this week they did something about the latter. Now, when you search for an address, you get two scores back: the standard Walk Score, and a new Transit Score based on the location’s proximity to CTA depots. My apartment gets a 71 thanks to the nearby Western Blue Line station and stops on the North, Western, Milwaukee, Armitage, and Damen bus lines. (Anything over 70 is considered “excellent;” 90 or higher is a “rider’s paradise.”) The search doesn’t include Metra stations yet, but it’s miles better than what the site used to offer.