Toward a Typology of Transit Corridor Livability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, land use - planning, land use - impacts, planning - integration


Livability, transit corridor, transit corridor livability (TCL), land use integration


“Livability” has become a popular term for planners, engineers, and urban designers, yet there is still little consensus on what livability means, how to measure it, and ultimately how to achieve it. In response, this research built on a multiyear analysis of the livability literature, theory, and practice, followed by an extensive quantitative and qualitative study of more than 350 transit corridors throughout the United States, in one of the largest federally funded studies on livability related to transportation. Although livability is often associated with the best planning and engineering practices, this is the first study to establish its empirical link to quality-of-life outcomes at the transit corridor level. Toward that end, this paper identifies important characteristics of one type of livability—referred to here as transit corridor livability (TCL)—based on the literature, theory, and practice; presents a comprehensive set of livability metrics built on this foundation; and then applies the metrics toward the development of a typological framework for promoting TCL. This effort links higher levels of transportation and land use integration, access to livability opportunities, and the potential for individuals to realize key quality-of-life outcomes such as higher non-automobile travel, shorter trip distances, and even lower levels of obesity and unemployment. This paper also introduces a practical handbook and TCL calculator, both designed to empower practitioners and members of the public to reliably assess transit corridor livability strengths and needs and then identify key policy strategies to achieve higher levels of transit corridor livability for their constituents.


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