Evaluating public transit accessibility to employment : the case of Ottawa, Canada
Fullerton, Christopher Adam
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The purpose of this study was to address the need for a straightforward and practical tool for evaluating public transit accessibility to places of employment. The need for such a study stems from the widespread adoption of planning policies by Canadian municipalities seeking to promote public transit commuting as part of their broader efforts to develop environmentally and socially sustainable transportation systems. To date, planners have not had any practical methods for identifying barriers to public transit commuting nor for evaluating the extent to which stated goals and objectives are being achieved. The study was conducted in three stages. First, a “Comprehensive Definition of Public Transit Commuter Needs” was developed by means of a literature review, a survey questionnaire, and consultations with sustainable transportation advocacy groups. In the second stage, the “Comprehensive Definition of Public Transit Commuter Needs” was used as a framework for creating the “Public Transit Commuter Accessibility Audit”. Through a six-step process that involves the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data, this tool provides planners with a means of identifying any potential obstacles or deterrents to public transit travel within the context of actual spatio-temporal commuter flows. The practical utility of the “Public Transit Commuter Accessibility Audit” was tested in the third stage by means of two case studies conducted in the City of Ottawa, Canada. This study has shown that commuters require a broad array of infrastructure, facilities and services in order for public transit to represent a viable travel option. It has also revealed that responsibility for promoting public transit commuting rests not only with transit agencies, but also with land use and transportation planners, private developers and employers. Furthermore, the case studies successfully demonstrated that application of the “Public Transit Commuter Accessibility Audit” can provide a preliminary indication of problem areas where direct planning interventions may be required, where municipal planning policies may need revision or more aggressive implementation, or where new policies may be necessary in order to increase the viability of public transit commuting.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CommitteeReed, Maureen; Huq, M. Mobinul; Andrey, Jean; Williams, Allison
Copyright DateApril 2004