Naperville has been selected as one of the top ten transit suburbs of Metropolitan Chicago, according to a study released Wednesday by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development based at DePaul University in Chicago.
The city ranks 8th among 20 suburban communities in the report and is described as "a commuter-rail powerhouse," with access to both and stations.
"More people reach the station on foot or bike than any station (more than 20 miles from Chicago) except Glen Ellyn, giving it a community connectivity score comfortably within the top ten," according to the report.
It also notes the city's extensive PACE network and Burlington Trailways bus system. But the report goes on to state that the proximity between Naperville's downtown and train stations can be a factor for pedestrians.
"Building a lifestyle around public transportation, however, is inhibited somewhat by the physical separation of the depot and Naperville’s downtown, limiting the integration of pedestrian activities. Naperville station’s Walk Score of 82 is less than other top transit suburbs and below the mean among the finalists," according to the report.
The DePaul University team considered 45 measurable factors to rank the best transit suburbs. These factors were station buildings and platforms, station grounds and parking, walkable downtown amenities adjacent to the station and degree of community connectivity to public transportation, as measured by the use of commuter rail services.
While Naperville ranked 17th when it comes to walkable amenities and services, it did rank higher in station grounds and parking, coming in at 2nd among the final 20.
In the other categories, Naperville ranked 8th for station buildings and platforms and 10th for community connectivity to transit.
The team made at least three visits to each of the 25 finalists before narrowing the rankings to 20. Scores for each community were also derived from published data for all 250 suburbs in the metropolitan Chicago region.
Top 20 Transit Suburb Rankings:
9. Des Plaines
10. Mt. Prospect
11. Glen Ellyn
13. Park Ridge
15. Western Springs
19. Highland Park
20. Tinley Park