Title

Evaluation of the Safe Routes to Transit Program in California

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2015

Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bike, mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, mode - rail, ridership - behaviour, ridership - growth, ridership - mode choice, ridership - perceptions, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - safety/accidents, planning - surveys, planning - environmental impact, economics - benefits

Keywords

Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T), travel choices, behavior, perceptions of safety, streetscape and roadway improvements

Abstract

This paper elaborates on findings from an evaluation of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) program in California. This program funded enhancements to increase walking and cycling to regional transit stations. To understand how the program influenced travel choices, behavior, and perceptions of safety and local air quality, the study surveyed transit users and observed driver, pedestrian, and bicyclist behavior in the periods before and after the enhancements were made at multiple transit stations. Data from the treatment and control stations suggested that the streetscape and roadway improvements made through the SR2T program positively influenced the propensity to walk, bicycle, and take the bus to transit stations, as reported through surveys. In particular, the results showed that walking and bicycling increased by 3% at treatment sites compared with control sites. Bicycling also increased at control sites; this factor indicated a general societal shift. Furthermore, driving decreased 2.5% at treatment sites. Perceived air quality, in general, improved in the posttime period. When asked about perceived traffic risk, bicyclists more than pedestrians reported feeling safer on the road, with 10% of the bicyclists, on average, feeling safer after the improvements. There were also economic benefits from this project—pedestrians and bicyclists were overrepresented in those who stopped en route to transit for food and drink. The evidence suggested that the SR2T program positively affected the decision to walk and bicycle to access transit. The program is recommended for expansion to additional sites.

Rights

Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.

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