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Atlanta and MARTA Were Guinea Pigs In a Transit Study

In “betcha didn’t see that coming” news, a recently released study reveals that the Atlanta region would benefit from an expanded transit network. This was the conclusion of the Mineta Transportation Institute, which examined the characteristics of “dependent” and “choice” riders utilizing Atlanta's transit network. To sum it up, 'dependent' riders are more likely to use buses that access employment centers in suburban environs, while 'choice' riders prefer trains that reach jobs in Atlanta's denser urban nodes. It seems the best way to please both camps is to create a unified network that covers the most urban districts while at the same time extending into underserved low-density areas. The biggest criticism of this enlightening report? It doesn’t address the pesky little topic of transportation funding. But we have heard rumors of a critical vote concerning just such a matter coming to a precinct near you. You can check out the full Atlantic Cities blog piece about it, or the underlying study and its succinct title below (hats off to ATLUrbanist for bringing this article to our attention.) -Johnathan Carnright

· How to Entice Car Owners to Switch to Public Transit [The Atlantic Cities blog]
· Understanding Transit Ridership Demand for a Multi-Destination, Multimodal Transit Network in an American Metropolitan Area: Lessons for Increasing Choice Ridership While Maintaining Transit Dependent Ridership [Mineta Transportation Institute]