Transit Station and Stop Design and Travel Time Perceptions

Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 9:00–10:30 am

About the Event

Transit faces an inherent disadvantage that is not shared by other modes of transportation: waiting time. While walking times to and from transit vehicles are generally perceived as taking roughly as long as they actually do, transit users tend to perceive waits for transit vehicles to arrive as significantly longer than they really are. This negative perception presents a significant obstacle for encouraging a mode shift from automobile to transit. To mitigate users’ aversion to waiting and transferring, high-amenity stations and improved shelters are becoming increasing popular. However, beyond recent evidence that real-time departure information reduces perceived waiting time, little is known about the specific aspects of stations and stops that help make transit wait times seem shorter.

In this presentation, U of M researchers discussed a study they conducted to address this lack of knowledge. The study compared Twin Cities transit users’ estimates of their waiting time with their actual waiting time to determine how the design of amenities and environments surrounding transit stations and stops shapes users’ perceptions. After the research presentation, Metro Transit staff shared information about how the agency is implementing these research findings to improve the rider experience across the entire transit system.

Watch the recording


  • Yingling Fan, Associate Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
  • Andrew Guthrie, Research Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
  • Carol Hejl, Landscape Architect, Planning and Urban Design Department, Metro Transit
  • Charles Carlson, Senior Manager, BRT/Small Starts Projects, Metro Transit