Transit Station and Stop Design and Travel Time Perceptions

Principal Investigator:

Yingling Fan, Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


Project Summary:

The waiting and transferring inherent in transit travel have significant impacts on mode choice and can be significant obstacles to encouraging mode shifts from automobile to transit. In part, these impacts are a function of time--time avoided by motorists. Much research indicates, however, that the mode choice impacts of waiting and transferring cannot be fully explained by the actual time they consume. Numerous studies have found that riders perceive out-of-vehicle time (walking, waiting, transferring) as "longer" than in-vehicle time. Transfers can have an especially significant impact on travel time perceptions because they add uncertainty to a transit trip. High-amenity stations, transit centers served by multiple routes, and multimodal hubs are becoming increasingly popular strategies for mitigating transit users' aversion to waiting and transferring. Little research exists, however, on what aspects of stations and stops are effective in making transit trip times seem shorter to users. To address this knowledge gap, this research is conducting a passenger survey at different types of transit stops and stations to investigate how station characteristics may shape transit users' perceptions of waiting and transferring time. Data will be collected under varying weather conditions and at varying times of day. The survey data will then be analyzed to identify station features associated with perceptions of shorter travel times. The findings are expected to help with development of new and innovative amenity mixes for transit stations and stops in the Twin Cities region that attract increased ridership.


Project Details:

  • Start date: 11/2012
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Research Area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Transit planning