Date of Completion

5-7-2011

Embargo Period

5-17-2011

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

Studying and quantifying public perception of public transportation and the built environment in which it operates is crucial to understanding the symbiotic relationship between transportation and land use. This paper presents a choice experiment which places respondents into personalized hypothetical scenarios and examines their preferences for new transit service and the environment in which it operates. The choice experiment survey instrument investigates public response to hypothetical bond referenda to fund new transit projects with particular service and built environment attributes. Service options are characterized by six attributes: service type, service reliability, comfort, stop environment, parking availability at final destination, and corresponding increase in taxes. Open-source survey software is leveraged to design a conditional and branching survey instrument that allows for adaptive context and control variables. The study fits a conditional logit model to this data, allowing for quantitative comparisons between the built environment through the estimation of the public‘s willingness to pay for specific features of the built environment. This research finds that people place a significant value on the quality of public spaces created by transit, captured here through the use of digitally rendered built environments that depict several features of good public spaces: wide sidewalks, greenery, reduced building setbacks, etc, combining different levels to define four distinct groupings of public spaces. It also discovers that an individual‘s willingness to pay for public spaces varies based on geography of their community.

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