Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Understanding How the Built Environment Around TTA Stops Affects Ridership

A 2006 Triangle Transit Authority report exploring the impact of the built environment on transit ridership has been added to the Resource Center best practices.

"Understanding How the Built Environment Around TTA Stops Affects Ridership" explores how bus ridership is affected by development surrounding stops.

The report points out that earlier studies have looked at rail stations and the impact of the station area built environment on transit use. This study seeks to determine whether the built environment in the predominately suburban region served by the Triangle Transit Authority impact bus ridership.

Results suggest ridership has a significant relationship with bus stop amenities, quantity of destinations, building and site design, and number of buses serving a stop, according to the authors. The pedestrian and bicycle environment was also relevant. The authors noted that the amount of neighborhood features and the intersection density were significant, but had an impact on ridership contrary to expectations.

"While our results cannot be necessarily considered the cause of higher or lower transit use, our findings maintain the importance of a built environment that supports, and perhaps encourages, transit use," the report's authors conclude. "As a result, we conclude that policies which create a transit supportive environment, including provisions for bus stop shelters, mixed-use developments, and smaller setbacks, would prove fruitful strategies for developers, transportation, and land use planners in the area."

Read the executive summary and download the full report.