The values of dedicated right of way to transit ridership and carbon emissions

Principal Investigator(s):

Jason Cao, Professor , Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

Transit systems play an important role in reducing auto dependence and vehicular emissions and helping Minnesotans create a sustainable and environment-friendly transportation system. Although dedicated right-of-way (ROW) can enhance the performance of transit systems, it is contentious. For example, it increases development costs and may take away on-street parking spots. Moreover, there is little evidence on its impacts on transit ridership and emissions. Filling this gap will provide concrete evidence for policymakers to make decisions on how to invest in transitways with different types of ROW (such as mixed traffic, managed lanes, and dedicated ROW).

This project will examine the value of dedicated ROW in increasing transit ridership and reducing carbon emissions. Specifically, researchers will systematically review current practices and studies on the benefits of dedicated ROW and how these benefits contribute to the quality of transit service and transit ridership. Furthermore, the research team will tabulate ROW type and related transit features by surveying transit agencies and collecting data from open sources. Finally, researchers will estimate the influences of dedicated ROW on transit ridership and carbon emissions with statistical models and scenario analysis. The results of this project will offer insights into transitway planning and carbon emission reduction in the Twin Cities and other similar regions.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2022046
  • Start date: 06/2022
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Environment, Transit planning