Operationalizing Place Making in a Choice Experiment Context

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - perceptions, place - north america, economics - willingness to pay, planning - service quality, land use - transit oriented development


public perceptions, public transit, service type, stop environment, travel time, fare, comfort, taxes, willingness to pay


The ability to interpret and understand public perception of public transit and the built environment that it can create is imperative to the creation of a successful transit system. This research uses stated preference choice surveys in a hypothetical bond referendum to investigate public response to transit systems with particular service and placemaking attributes. The survey asks each participant to compare and choose one of two new transit service options or a "none of the above" option. The options are described by six attributes: service type, stop environment, travel time, fare, comfort, and the corresponding increase in taxes. Fitting a conditional logit model to these data allows the quantitative comparison of transit system configurations to ascertain the public's willingness to pay for the specific attributes. This study finds that people place a significant value on the quality of public spaces created by public transit, captured here through the use of digitally rendered built environments that capture several aspects of good public spaces: wide sidewalks, narrow streets, greenery, reduced building setbacks, multistory development, and human activity.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by TRB, copyright remains with them.