AbstractIn both rural and urban environments, transportation and access to food are coupled, especially in regions known as food deserts (FDs). However, transportation is not the only factor that may impede food access. This study identifies factors that influence where a household chooses to shop by creating a location-choice model using real travel patterns of low-income households in Dallas. While this analysis shows that travel time to the store remains the most important factor, the results indicate that accessibility also depends on the (1) age of household members (e.g., the presence of seniors or children), (2) access to mobility options, (3) built environment and urban development, (4) household size, and (5) employment. A new metric of food accessibility is formulated, incorporating multiple contributors to inaccess and overcoming limitations of the USDA FD definition. The results show that the proposed metric adapts to any level of aggregation, identifies where targeted interventions could be implemented, and allows for the integration of real travel and shopping behaviors to better coordinate urban planning approaches that increase access to food in the urban environment.

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