Validating Local Transit Accessibility Measures Using Transit Ridershp
Bree, Sarah Lindsay
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Local transit accessibility measures are important tools used by planners to understand the effects of changes to public transit systems. Several local transit accessibility measures exist in the literature; however, it is not clear how these measures relate to public transit usage. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate several transit accessibility measures that are commonly used in the literature by examining their association with ridership levels at the dissemination area level. The assessed transit accessibility measures ranged from a basic stop count, to gravity-based measures which use distance decay functions from a local household survey, and Walk Score’s Transit Score. Using several land use and transit service datasets, including data collected from the fare box systems onboard the Saskatoon Transit buses, three types of model were tested. These models include ordinary least square models (OLS), spatial lag models (SLM), and spatial error models (SEM). The results from the models suggest that we can more closely predict actual public transit ridership when including a gravity-based accessibility measure in the model, while controlling for several household socioeconomic factors and built environment characteristics. In all cases, the measure that best fit the variation in ridership was the filtered frequency accessibility measure calculated using a 400 m network buffer and a distance decay function based on a Butterworth filter with a bandpass value of 250 m. This study offers transit planners and practitioners a better understanding of the performance of different transit local accessibility measures in relationship to actual transit ridership. Using the previous accessibility measure, the local accessibility of the proposed BRT system in Saskatoon was evaluated. The results showed an increase in accessibility in most of the city, even when the number of the stops was decreased from 1,443 to 994.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentGeography and Planning
CommitteeWalker, Ryan; Fuller, Daniel; Sacchi, Emanuele
Copyright DateMarch 2020