The impact of transit station areas on the travel behaviors of workers in Denver, Colorado

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - tram/light rail, mode - car, land use - impacts, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice, planning - surveys, policy - sustainable


Light rail, Transit, Travel behaviors, Workplace, Sustainable transportation, Denver


Transit development is one planning strategy that seeks to partially overcome limitations of low-density single use car oriented development styles. While many studies focus on how residential proximity to transit influences the travel behaviors of individuals, the effect of workplace proximity to transit is less understood. This paper asks, does workingnear a light rail transit station influence the travel behaviors of workers differently than workers living near a station? We begin by examining workers’ commute mode based on their residential and workplace proximity to transit station areas. Next, we analyze the ways in which personal travel behaviors differ between those who drive to work and those who do not. The data came from a 2009 travel behavior survey in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area, which contains 8000 households, 16,000 individuals, and nearly 80,000 trips. We measure sustainable travel behaviors as reduced mileage, reduced number of trips, and increased use of non-car transportation. The results of this study indicate that living near a transit station area by itself does not increase the likelihood of using non-car modes for work commutes. But if the destination (work) is near a transit station area, persons are less likely to drive a car to work. People who both live and work in a transit station area are less likely to use a car and more likely to take non-car modes for both work and non-work (personal) trips. Especially for persons who work near a transit station area, the measures of personal trips and distances show a higher level of mobility for non-car commuters than car commuters – that is, more trips and more distant trips. The use of non-car modes for personal trips is most likely to occur by non-car commuters, regardless of their transit station area relationship.


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


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: