Principal Investigator: Dr. Richard A. Watts (Research Director, Transportation Research Center)
Funding Agency: US DOT
By reducing the need for personal automobile use, public transit can increase the efficiency of the transportation system. However, efficient transit service using larger vehicles is challenging in Vermont's sparsely settled landscape; paradoxically, efficiency declines when large transit vehicles service few passengers. In this analysis, TRC researchers examined the density of Vermont settlement areas to establish the most transit-serviceable areas.
Using mapped household building locations from the Vermont Emergency 911 database and Geographic Information System ArcGIS mapping to determine population density, investigators were able to identify central, denser "hub" areas within towns that could potentially support transit. In the Vermont analysis, TRC researchers found few places that have the density to support public transit systems, suggesting other transportation solutions are needed.