Transit proximity and trip-making characteristics : a study of 2007 Chicago metropolitan region travel tracking survey
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Influence of built environment on travel behavior has been recognized by several studies in last decade (Cervero 2003, 2004, Ewing at al 2003 and etc.). Easy access to the transit station and mixed land use has been largely emphasized by New Urbanist because of its influence on transit ridership and reduction of vehicle mile travel. However, empirical evidence that proximity of residential location to the transit station or mixed land use reduces auto dependency and encourages transit ridership has been lack for Chicago metropolitan region in spite of its long history of transit development. This study uses 2007 Chicago metropolitan region travel tracking study data and travel characteristics of residents living within walkable distance from the CAT or METRA rail station in Chicago Metropolitan region was analyzed in comparison with those of residents living beyond walkable distance from the rail station in order to find any difference in socio-demographic characteristics and travel characteristics. In general, households located within walkable distance (a quarter mile for this study) from the rail station are more likely to be low income households, to reside in a multifamily rental housing. Residents living within walkable distance show higher portion of African American or Asian proportion, of smaller-sized households (a single member household or childless household). They are likely to own fewer cars than residents living far from the rail station. With this observation of some difference in sociodemographic and travel characteristics between two groups, probability of transit use and rail use in a relationship with home location and job location were tested using binary logistic model. The result indicates that the number of household vehicles per person in the household influences negatively on residential location. The more available household cars per person, the less likely it is that a household is located within walkable distance from the rail station. Work location was also an important factor for transit or rail use. This provides evidence that providing mixed land use where jobs and housing are all provided within walkable distance from the transit station can increase transit use and reduces auto-dependency that current American society is facing severely.