Increasing Bus Transit Ridership: Dynamics of Density, Land Use, and Population

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Banerjee, T., Myers, D., Irazabal, C. and D. Bahl. Increasing Bus Transit Ridership: Dynamics of Density, Land Use, and Population Growth. California Department of Transportation, Division of Research and Innovation. 2014. Report No FHWA/CA/OR-2006/02, 115pp.


The study explores the possibilities of revitalizing existing urban communities, increasing transit ridership, decreasing jobs-housing imbalance, and mitigating the impacts of sprawl from transit corridor development or TCD, a variant of the more general class of TOD or transit-oriented development. We present findings of a study that focuses on the relationship between transit ridership and density and mixed land use developments along major arterial corridors in Los Angeles. Our research focuses on Ventura Boulevard and Vermont Avenue as a comparative study of two heavily subscribed transit corridors. Our analysis suggests that the predominant land use around these corridors is low-density automobile-oriented development which remains transit –unfriendly. However, the City’s policy environment has undergone favorable changes with the introduction new zoning ordinances. In light of these changes, we develop and recommend spatial and urban design strategies that productively utilize surplus and marginal space along transit corridors to accommodate future population growth. It is our expectation that the densification of the underutilized commercial corridors will create vibrant local economies, increase opportunities for market and affordable housing, revitalize retail, and lead to a fuller use of transit lines and increased ridership, a trend that we have already observed in higher density bus station areas