The association between light rail transit and satisfactions with travel and life: evidence from Twin Cities
Rail transit has been touted as a way to enhance livability, quality of life or satisfaction with life (SWL). However, the connections between transit and SWL are mainly conceptual, and little empirical evidence is available in the literature. Using the Hiawatha line in Minneapolis as a case, this study develops structural equations models on a 2011 dataset to explore the impacts of light rail transit (LRT) on SWL. We corroborate that the Hiawatha LRT positively influences SWL through enhanced access to different activities, and through improved transit service, enhanced accessibility, and their impacts on satisfaction with travel. The size of the impacts is marginal.
KeywordsSubjective well-being Quality of life Land use Sustainability Travel Light rail transit
The study was funded by the Transitway Impact Research Program (TIRP) in the Twin Cities. Jessica Schoner helped with survey administration.
- Byrne, B.M.: Structural Equation Modeling with AMOS: Basic Concepts, Applications, and Programming. Multivariate Applications Series, 2nd edn. Routledge, New York (2010)Google Scholar
- Cervero, R., Murphy, S., Ferrell, C., Goguts, N., Tsai, Y.-H., Arrington, G.B., Boroski, J., Smith-Heimer, J., Golem, R., Peninger, P., Nakajima, E., Chui, E., Dunphy, R., Myers, M., McKay, S.: Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC (2004)Google Scholar
- CTOD: Transit Corridors and TOD: Connecting the Dots. Reconnecting America’s Center for Transit-Oriented Development, Oakland (2010)Google Scholar
- Fan, Y., Guthrie, A., Levinson, D.: Impact of light rail implementation on labor market accessibility: a transportation equity perspective. J. Transport Land Use 5(3), 28–39 (2012)Google Scholar
- Forward, S.: State of the Art Report On Life Quality Assessment in the Field of Transport and Mobility. Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Linoeping (2003)Google Scholar
- Giuliano, G.: Land use impacts of transportation investments: highway and transit. In: Hanson, S., Giuliano, G. (eds.) The Geography of Urban Transportation, pp. 237–273. The Guilford Press, New York (2004)Google Scholar
- Mokhtarian, P.L.: Travel as a desired end, not just a means. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 39(2–3), 93–96 (2005)Google Scholar
- Shafer, C.S., Lee, B.K., Turner, S.: A tale of three greenway trails: user perceptions related to quality of life. Landsc. Urban Plann. 49(3–4), 163–178 (2000)Google Scholar
- Sommer, B.B., Sommer, R.: A practical guide to behavioral research: tools and techniques, 4th edn. Oxford University Press, New York (1997)Google Scholar
- TCRP: Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes, Transit Cooperative Research Program. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC (2004)Google Scholar