Huston-Tillotson University Bus Stop Environmental Analysis Study
Understanding which elements of the built environment communicate a sense of safety is important to designing and locating bus stops. This study originated from a pragmatic project that examined the possibilities of increasing transit use among students at Huston-Tillotson University (HT), an historical black college and university in Austin, Texas. Results from a purposeful sample of 212 students reveal very few utilize public transit as their primary mode of transportation, and the majority is car dependent. Reasons given for low bus ridership include the need to be independent, inefficiency of routes and extended travel times, poor bus stop environmental conditions, and the fear of crime while waiting for a bus. This study examined sixty bus stop environments that HT students would use if they chose to access their identified destinations by bus. Daily ridership counts at the identified 60 bus stops are linked to bus stop environmental conditions. Using a structural equation model, this study sought to answer the following two questions: What elements of the physical environment, including the station and surrounding environments, negatively impact or encourage bus ridership? To what degree might the presence of crime and the condition of the physical environment at the bus stop negatively impact the decision of potential riders, like HT students, to ride the bus?
The Snell funds were used to provide research assistant support in the spring and summer semesters.