From Transit Stop to Urbanity Node. A Study of Perceived Livability, Access, Safety and Socialization at the Transit Stop

Deni Ruggeri, University of Oregon


This research project addresses issues of livability at the transit stop. American transit systems have historically been “shoehorned” into existing street networks designed predominantly for cars and trucks. While much research exists on livability and walkability in the context of urban and suburban streets and blocks, bus stops are greatly understudied. This research focused on bus stops and aimed at analyzing their performance in terms of livability, with particular emphasis on perceptions. Our definition of livability was expanded to include considerations of safety and maintenance, cleanliness, imageability and vitality, which have been shown to affect people’s perceptions of livability and their choice to use public transportation. The Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area and its transit system was the object of our investigation. Using Geographic Information System and Space Syntax software, we identified 17 bus stops having the most potential in terms of livability, which includes considerations of connectivity to other modes of transportation, mix of land uses surrounding the transit stop, and other traditional environmental qualities usually associated with sustainable places. The transit nodes were analyzed using an audit, a systematic test similar to those used by policymakers and communities to assess neighborhood walkability, which was expanded to include both quantitative and qualitative measures of livability. The effectiveness and wording of each type of question was carefully tested and refined, thanks to two separate pilot tests. The data collected through the audit was later standardized and merged into an index, a value representing the overall livability of the 17 bus stops audited. Despite minor differences across raters, the methodology proved effective in measuring and comparing livability across a variety of sites, and in illustrating their performance with regard to the environmental qualities tested.

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
November 30,2013
UTC Grant Cycle:
OTREC Small Starts
UTC Funding: