Spatial variations in attitudes toward expanded public transit service

Ira M. Sheskin, Peter R. Stopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although recent budgetary considerations by the Federal govenment do not portend well for urban public transit, some transit systems are considering expansion into less densely-settled areas further from the Central Business District. Of some concern to planners has been their belief that suburban and rural dwellers may be much less inclined than urban dwellers to support expansion of transit service. This paper presents an analysis of a random-digit dialing/mail-out, mail-back survey conducted in Washtenaw County, Michigan which was designed specifically to examine differences in attitudes between urban and rural residents. Six mutually-exclusive spatial strata were established based upon population density. This paper tests for expected spatial differences in socioeconomic and demographic variables and then examines spatial variations in attitudes toward public transportation. The major conclusion is that the expected spatial variations in attitudes about transit service provision between the spatial strata do not arise. Most of the significant differences found are with respect to questions which relate to where transit is provided. Residents in rural (urban) areas support more strongly the provision of services to rural (urban) areas. Many residents, however, will support transit service that may not benefit them directly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-232
Number of pages22
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Ann Arbor
  • attitudes
  • public transit
  • spatial variations
  • Washtenaw

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


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