We know that frequent, fast, reliable public transit is essential for cities to thrive.
Here's how our research is setting the agenda.
TransitCenter Applied Research
“Hard to describe how important this new [Who's On Board] study is on who is riding transit.” - Transportation for America, July 13, 2016
TransitCenter’s research helps transit advocates, agency staff, and anyone with a role in transit decisionmaking understand what makes transit effective, who rides transit, and how to plan transit that effectively serves as many people as possible. We celebrate successful reform efforts and challenge ideas that have perpetuated inequitable transportation planning.”
Our work aims to keep policymakers focused on practical steps to improve transit, and transit’s role in making cities just and environmentally sustainable. Our Who’s On Board series of surveys have changed the national conversation on transit, debunking the idea that people who ride transit have few alternatives and emphasizing the importance of frequent, fast, walkable, and reliable service. Our Transit Insights tool makes national transportation data accessible for journalists and advocates.
Since 2014, we have published over two dozen research publications, covering topics ranging from how transit agencies can best serve older riders, to how transit agencies and cities can effectively collaborate, to how the tax code influences transportation decisionmaking. Our work is regularly cited by transit agencies and their board members, media outlets across the country, and a diverse set of policy and research organizations—from AARP to the Congressional Research Service.
We developed and maintain the Equity Dashboard, which shows how well transit systems connect people to jobs, health care, and other essential points in major U.S. cities. The Equity Dashboard measures disparities in transit service and progress towards transit service equity over time. Powered by publicly available data and methods, the Equity Dashboard exemplifies methods that transit practitioners can use to evaluate transit service equity.
We use multiple methods, including surveys, focus groups, analysis of public datasets, case studies, and synthesis of existing research. No matter the method, we aim to create an evidence-based, rider-focused agenda for improving transit, offering clear and actionable recommendations.