Factors influencing light-rail station boardings in the United States

Michael Kuby, Anthony Barranda, Christopher Upchurch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

172 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many US cities have recently built or approved light-rail systems to combat congestion, sprawl, and pollution. Critics questions light rail's ability to generate ridership in low-density, automobile-oriented, polycentric US cities with smaller downtowns. Proponents counter that sufficient numbers of homes and workplaces have convenient access to stations via walking, park-and-ride, or bus to develop feasible corridors connecting major residential areas with suburban concentrations of employment and the CBD. With this in mind, we used multiple regression to determine factors that contribute to higher light-rail ridership. Cross-sectional data on average weekday boardings were collected for the year 2000 for 268 stations in nine US cities representing a variety of urban settings. The results showed the importance of land use and accessibility. Employment, population, and percent renters within walking distance, as well as bus lines, park-and-ride spaces, and centrality, were significant. Dummy variables for terminal and transfer stations and international borders were all positive and significant. Total degree-days were negative and significant, lowering expectations for cities with extreme climates. Notably, the stations in the CBD generate much higher boardings, but these are explainable by the same variables present in lesser combinations at non-CBD stations and account for their generally lesser boardings. Importantly, a dummy variable for CBD location was not significant. The resulting model may be useful as a first-cut, one-step approach for predicting demand for possible light-rail alignments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-247
Number of pages25
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Fingerprint

Rails
residential area
city center
motor vehicle
critic
land use
workplace
Transfer stations
climate
regression
present
demand
ability
Land use
Automobiles
Pollution
Rail
Influencing factors
Bus
Dummy variables

Keywords

  • Demand
  • Land use
  • Light rail
  • Regression model
  • Station
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation

Cite this

Factors influencing light-rail station boardings in the United States. / Kuby, Michael; Barranda, Anthony; Upchurch, Christopher.

In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol. 38, No. 3, 03.2004, p. 223-247.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kuby, Michael ; Barranda, Anthony ; Upchurch, Christopher. / Factors influencing light-rail station boardings in the United States. In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice. 2004 ; Vol. 38, No. 3. pp. 223-247.
@article{23d17efc39d2462582255a39a45d7ce5,
title = "Factors influencing light-rail station boardings in the United States",
abstract = "Many US cities have recently built or approved light-rail systems to combat congestion, sprawl, and pollution. Critics questions light rail's ability to generate ridership in low-density, automobile-oriented, polycentric US cities with smaller downtowns. Proponents counter that sufficient numbers of homes and workplaces have convenient access to stations via walking, park-and-ride, or bus to develop feasible corridors connecting major residential areas with suburban concentrations of employment and the CBD. With this in mind, we used multiple regression to determine factors that contribute to higher light-rail ridership. Cross-sectional data on average weekday boardings were collected for the year 2000 for 268 stations in nine US cities representing a variety of urban settings. The results showed the importance of land use and accessibility. Employment, population, and percent renters within walking distance, as well as bus lines, park-and-ride spaces, and centrality, were significant. Dummy variables for terminal and transfer stations and international borders were all positive and significant. Total degree-days were negative and significant, lowering expectations for cities with extreme climates. Notably, the stations in the CBD generate much higher boardings, but these are explainable by the same variables present in lesser combinations at non-CBD stations and account for their generally lesser boardings. Importantly, a dummy variable for CBD location was not significant. The resulting model may be useful as a first-cut, one-step approach for predicting demand for possible light-rail alignments.",
keywords = "Demand, Land use, Light rail, Regression model, Station, Transportation",
author = "Michael Kuby and Anthony Barranda and Christopher Upchurch",
year = "2004",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1016/j.tra.2003.10.006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "38",
pages = "223--247",
journal = "Transportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice",
issn = "0965-8564",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Factors influencing light-rail station boardings in the United States

AU - Kuby, Michael

AU - Barranda, Anthony

AU - Upchurch, Christopher

PY - 2004/3

Y1 - 2004/3

N2 - Many US cities have recently built or approved light-rail systems to combat congestion, sprawl, and pollution. Critics questions light rail's ability to generate ridership in low-density, automobile-oriented, polycentric US cities with smaller downtowns. Proponents counter that sufficient numbers of homes and workplaces have convenient access to stations via walking, park-and-ride, or bus to develop feasible corridors connecting major residential areas with suburban concentrations of employment and the CBD. With this in mind, we used multiple regression to determine factors that contribute to higher light-rail ridership. Cross-sectional data on average weekday boardings were collected for the year 2000 for 268 stations in nine US cities representing a variety of urban settings. The results showed the importance of land use and accessibility. Employment, population, and percent renters within walking distance, as well as bus lines, park-and-ride spaces, and centrality, were significant. Dummy variables for terminal and transfer stations and international borders were all positive and significant. Total degree-days were negative and significant, lowering expectations for cities with extreme climates. Notably, the stations in the CBD generate much higher boardings, but these are explainable by the same variables present in lesser combinations at non-CBD stations and account for their generally lesser boardings. Importantly, a dummy variable for CBD location was not significant. The resulting model may be useful as a first-cut, one-step approach for predicting demand for possible light-rail alignments.

AB - Many US cities have recently built or approved light-rail systems to combat congestion, sprawl, and pollution. Critics questions light rail's ability to generate ridership in low-density, automobile-oriented, polycentric US cities with smaller downtowns. Proponents counter that sufficient numbers of homes and workplaces have convenient access to stations via walking, park-and-ride, or bus to develop feasible corridors connecting major residential areas with suburban concentrations of employment and the CBD. With this in mind, we used multiple regression to determine factors that contribute to higher light-rail ridership. Cross-sectional data on average weekday boardings were collected for the year 2000 for 268 stations in nine US cities representing a variety of urban settings. The results showed the importance of land use and accessibility. Employment, population, and percent renters within walking distance, as well as bus lines, park-and-ride spaces, and centrality, were significant. Dummy variables for terminal and transfer stations and international borders were all positive and significant. Total degree-days were negative and significant, lowering expectations for cities with extreme climates. Notably, the stations in the CBD generate much higher boardings, but these are explainable by the same variables present in lesser combinations at non-CBD stations and account for their generally lesser boardings. Importantly, a dummy variable for CBD location was not significant. The resulting model may be useful as a first-cut, one-step approach for predicting demand for possible light-rail alignments.

KW - Demand

KW - Land use

KW - Light rail

KW - Regression model

KW - Station

KW - Transportation

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0442312847&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0442312847&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.tra.2003.10.006

DO - 10.1016/j.tra.2003.10.006

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 223

EP - 247

JO - Transportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice

JF - Transportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice

SN - 0965-8564

IS - 3

ER -