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 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.