Measuring Transit and Livability in Rural America, Rural Transit Livability Index (RTLI)

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities (PSC), established in 2009, laid out six principles for livable communities in the United States. Building more “livable” communities is a goal of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The FTA contracted with Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) on a project entitled, “Rural Livability Performance Measures Suitable for Use at a National Level” to identify, test, and recommend a set of measures which leverage existing national data to characterize the contributions of transit to livability in rural areas of the United States. Researchers identified six “rural transit livability performance measures”, one for each PSC livability principle, through an iterative process of literature review, discussion with FTA staff, and expert review. The research team created a methodology to combine the six measures into a national index specific to rural transit and livability—the Rural-Transit-Livability Index (RTLI). The article describes RTLI methodology, case study application to eight states, and statistical comparison with potentially confounding external variables. The authors conclude that the RTLI methodology successfully leverages existing data sources in the United States to effectively, albeit indirectly, measure the nexus between livability and rural transit services. Researchers recommend that policy makers and rural stakeholders alike use the rural transit livability performance measures and the RTLI as a gauge for policy construction and communication.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AP055 Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Brooks, Jonathan Paul
    • Edrington, Suzie
    • Catala, Martin
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2013


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 92nd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01479088
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 13-4308
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 5 2013 12:50PM