Considerable attention has been given to the need for and benefits of livable communities and how transit investments and operations contribute to livability. For example, transit services promote livability by increasing access, improving mobility, supporting economic development, and facilitating a healthier environment. Previous research has explored the relationship between transit investment and economic development (one aspect of livability), in particular in and around transit station areas. Less research has addressed the broader relationships between transit and livability in transit corridors. In 2009, the U.S. Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) joined together to champion policies and programs designed to stimulate sustainable and livable communities. The Partnership for Sustainable Communities established six livability principles and a partnership to act as a foundation for interagency coordination. The Partnership’s six principles, which are built on the potential linkages among housing development, employment growth, and overall economic development that often accompany improvements to transportation as well as other infrastructure, will be addressed in this research project.
Additional research is needed that explores the transit corridor as a unit of analysis and considers the livability principles defined by the U.S. DOT, HUD, and EPA.
The objective of this research is to develop a handbook that presents: (1) A framework for assessing the livability outcomes of transit corridor planning and decision making. The framework should include (a) methods for evaluating transit corridor-level livability outcomes and (b) metrics that relate transit corridor planning to livability. The framework should address the six livability principles developed by DOT, HUD, and EPA in their Partnership for Sustainable Communities. (2) Practical planning and implementation strategies to enhance livability in transit corridors. These methods, metrics, and strategies should support transit planning, development of livable communities, and investment in associated infrastructure.
The project was initiated in January 2012, and research is currently underway. The interim report was received in August 2013, and an interim panel meeting was held in October 2013 with the research team to discuss the report.