An Assessment of Public Transportation Markets Using NHTS Data


Xuehao Chu

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, planning - surveys, ridership - attitudes, ridership - behaviour, policy - equity, policy - social exclusion


Public Transit, National Household Travel Survey, Person-Trips, Modes, Trip Purposes


This study assesses a range of public transit markets for Florida and the U.S. as a whole. Data from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey are used. The public transit markets are defined with trip purpose and seven personal, household, and travel characteristics of persons in these transit markets, including driver status, immigration status, existence of medical conditions that make it difficult to travel out of the home, household income, vehicle availability, race and ethnicity, and monthly frequency of transit use. Based on an approach of cross tabulations, this study assesses these transit markets from five perspectives: 1. Market Size - how the overall transit market is distributed across these transit sub-markets. 2. Modal Share - how people within each transit market travel using various modes, including transit. 3. Attitudes - how people within each transit market feel about a set of transportation issues. 4. Socio-Demographics - personal, household, location, and travel characteristics of transit markets. 5. Trip Characteristics - transit-specific and general trip characteristics of transit markets. The assessment for Florida is limited to the first three perspectives due to sample size issues. The results presented are useful to operating agencies for strategic planning and to other government bodies for developing policies and funding programs for improving mobility of those who are transportation and economically disadvantaged and for improving the transportation system in general.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by National Centre for Transit Research (NCTR), copyright remains with them.