Measuring Benefits of Rural and Small Urban Transit in Greater Minnesota

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, place - rural, economics - benefits, planning - methods, planning - surveys


transit, benefits, cost benefit


The objective of this research was to measure the benefits of rural and small urban transit services in Minnesota. The study accomplished this by first identifying, describing, and classifying the potential benefits of transit. Second, a method was developed to measure these benefits. Where possible, benefits were quantified in dollar values. Other benefits that could not be quantified in monetary terms were either quantified in another way or described qualitatively. The study included an analysis of societal benefits and economic impacts within local communities. Third, the developed method was applied to a series of six case studies across Greater Minnesota. Data were collected through onboard rider surveys for each of the six transit agencies. Total benefits and benefit-cost ratios were estimated for the six transit agencies—all showed benefits that exceeded costs—and results were generalized to Greater Minnesota. Economic impacts were also estimated showing the effect on jobs, labor income, and value added. This research provides information to assess the benefits of public spending on transit, which gives decision makers the data needed to inform investment decisions.


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