Transit Ridership and the Built Environment

The built environment consists of everything humanly made, arranged, or maintained (Bartuska and Young 1994). In relation to travel behavior, there has been a focus on improving our understanding of how the built environment influences one’s travel mode choice. Planners need evidence showing how land use matters as they advocate for the adoption of different planning principles. This is especially true in small urban areas where planners seldom utilize innovative land-use principles, such as smart growth, within their planning process (Peterson 2009). The objective of this research is to determine what variables (i.e., residential density, land-use mix) play an important role in determining the built environment/transit ridership relationship in the Fargo-Moorhead community. Socio-economic and level of service variables were also considered. Overall, built environment results indicated that residential density and walkability were significant in predicting transit ridership and performed as anticipated. Land-use mix was also significant, but results were mixed with respect to their influence on transit ridership. Policy makers looking to support land uses that increase both transit use and walkability should consider these implications. Small, medium, and large communities can all benefit from planning techniques that give travelers options rather than car centric neighborhoods that do not provide the needed flexibility to support different transportation modes.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute

    Small Urban and Rural Transit Center, North Dakota State University, P.O. Box 6050
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108-6050

    Mountain-Plains Consortium

    North Dakota State University
    Fargo, ND  United States  58108

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Peterson, Del
  • Publication Date: 2011-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Bibliography; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 40p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01355170
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC Report No. 11-239
  • Files: UTC, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 26 2011 2:09PM