Exploring Strategies for Promoting Modal Shifts to Transitways

Principal Investigator:

Jason Cao, Assistant Professor , Humphrey School of Public Affairs


  • Yingling Fan, Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Andrew Guthrie, Research Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project Summary:

The Metropolitan Council aims to double the 2004 Twin Cities transit ridership levels by 2030. The implementation of transitways is essential to this effort, but resulting mode shifts may be limited by an overall transportation system and policy environment that still heavily favor driving. Planners in the region are interested in finding the "sweet spot" for frequency, travel time, employer/employee incentives, and penalties for driving/incentives for taking transit needed to attract riders. This research project will review successful transit programs in the U.S. and other parts of the world and synthesize best practices in transit system planning and transit-supportive policies. Following the review, researchers will develop two sets of models to identify transit planning strategies and transit-supportive policies that can effectively promote transit ridership and encourage mode shifts toward transit in the Twin Cities. The two sets of models are a) trip-level mode choice models for several selected Twin Cities transitways, including the Hiawatha light rail transit (LRT), Northstar commuter rail, and Central Corridor LRT; and b) station-level ridership models for selected transit stations in the Twin Cities and peer regions. Outcomes from both sets of models will be used jointly to predict bus-to-transitway mode shifts, automobile-to-transit mode shifts, and the number of car-shedding households associated with various mixes of transit-supportive policies and transit system planning strategies.


Project Details: