Coverage Vs Frequency: Is Spatial Coverage or Temporal Frequency More Impactful on Transit Ridership?

Transit ridership has long been studied, and the findings are concisely elucidated by Taylor and Fink (1) when they say “To sum, transit ridership is largely, though not completely, a product of factors outside the control of transit managers.” While studies repeatedly examine the effects on ridership of common variables like gasoline price and fare price, few have looked with much scrutiny at the factors that are, in fact, within the capacity of transit agencies to control. Transit service provision has been found to affect ridership, but “service provision” is often nebulously defined, shedding little light onto how transit managers can best provide service that will create returns in the form of transit ridership. This study examines the effects of spatial coverage and temporal frequency on transit ridership to determine just which lever is most effective. The authors use a cross-sectional study design with 157 regions around the United States. They employ structural equation modeling (SEM) to explain complex relationships that exist between interrelated variables. The authors find that both factors are strong predictors of transit ridership, with service frequency having a slightly larger impact.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee AP015 Standing Committee on Transit Capacity and Quality of Service.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Lyons, Torrey James
    • Ewing, Reid
    • Tian, Guang
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697874
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-04205
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:40AM