Originally Posted by Pedestrian
San Francisco's transit policy, largey met, is to have no citizens more than 2 blocks from a transit stop and, generally, once on a transit vehicle you can get to your destination with no more than 1 transfer.
Originally Posted by ue
It's currently mandated that ETS (which provides for the City of Edmonton and some commuter services, and includes the majority of Edmonton's sprawl) have a bus stop within 400m of every house
This is really a useless standard, because it doesn't tell you anything about frequency and efficiency of the bus lines.
Two real life examples:
City of Sherbrooke, QC (metro area of ~200,000) where I grew up. There are plenty of bus stops and bus lines, but they don't always go directly where you'd like to go, and they don't pass that often. If you have to wait half an hour, you might as well just start walking towards your destination.
I had a bus stop some 50 m from my house that offered a bunch of the more useful lines, and I would still often find myself deciding "meh, screw that, I'll walk, it won't be much longer anyway".
Second example, Amarillo, TX, where I lived for the summer in '15, and was without a vehicle for a good chunk of that time. The bus network is hub-spoke, actually shaped like a daisy, with the outline of each petal being a "loop" that goes the the edge of the city then back to downtown.
So, if you're on the side of the loop that goes out, you have to hop on that bus, go all the way to the edge of the city, then back to downtown, then wait for your one transfer to another petal, which might take a long time BTW, and hopefully on that one you'll be on the way out, not on the way back...
Such a model can check both the "everyone has a bus stop within 1 block of their house" and "everyone can reach their destination with no more than 1 transfer" and yet can still be extremely inefficient, as I experienced.
For the record, I walked all the time in Amarillo - sometimes up to 1 hour to my destination (typically, from my place in San Jacinto, out west, to the diesel repair shop that was in an industrial area in the eastern end) in spite of having a bus line passing right next to my place.
I took the bus a couple times, then realized it was much quicker to just walk!