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University of Minnesota Study Finds Good Public Transit Leads to Satisfaction

As reported by The Atlantic Cities

Jason Cao, a transport policy scholar at the University of Minnesota, focused his research on the Hiawatha light rail line in Minneapolis. The line runs 12 miles between the downtown area and the Mall of America, where weekday ridership has already exceeded predictions for 2020 by 30 percent.  Cao describes that as some good transit, but can good transit have a positive impact on the well-being of people who live nearby?

After data collection, Cao found that people near the transit service had higher ratings on questions related to the quality of their lives compared to people who lived further away. These were items like "In most ways my life is close to my ideal" and "The conditions of my life are excellent."

Cao believes this high quality of life is correlated to the quality of the public transportation. "Contentment with travel was leading to contentment with life."

Cao concludes, " [T]he Hiawatha corridor impacts travel satisfaction through its influences on residents' perceptions of transit access and service and their perceived easy access to activity destinations. … Further, perceived accessibility to destinations has a direct effect on satisfaction with life."



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