Methodology for Linking Greenways and Trails with Public Transportation in Florida

The purpose of this research was to provide a methodology to evaluate how intermodal connections between public transportation and public trails can improve livability in Florida communities.

by Center for Urban Transportation Research


Linking Greenways to Public Trans FL


This research explored other available methodologies for evaluating intermodal connectivity, developed three case studies of communities outside Florida to compare different approaches, and developed an alternative methodology as applied to the trails and transit systems of Pinellas County and Hillsborough County, Florida.

The research team used data sets and analysis tools that are widely available. The evaluation began by selecting a transportation goal of importance to the community, as defined by a particular travel market and purpose. The home locations of the target traveler market were mapped using a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) spatial analysis with the Environmental Protection Agency Smart Location Database (EPA SLD) and other information sources.

The purpose of the mapping exercise was to discern areas within the counties where larger concentrations of the target traveler market are located. Locations of greater concentrations of the desired trip destination type were determined. Examples of destinations include employment centers, recreation centers, and post-secondary education campuses. The locations of bus routes and bus stops, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and public trails also were mapped. Study subareas were selected for each county, based upon their location between trip origins and trip destinations.

A trail/transit crossing inventory template was developed and used to conduct audits of the conditions present at selected transit/trail junctures found within the subareas. Recommendations were developed for improvements for each of these transit/trail junctures to make the connections stronger so that someone using nonmotorized transportation could use both public transit and a public trail to complete a multimodal trip to the destination.

Published February 01, 2016

About the Author


We are a program of the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida (USF). NCTR is a livable communities Tier I University Transportation Center funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (2013-2020). USF has housed a UTC since 1989. We conduct research on all forms of public transportation. We help public transportation professionals and policy makers build strong public transportation systems via education programs to prepare for tomorrow's multimodal challenges and opportunities. We're passionate about helping public transportation agencies improve their performance via technology transfer activities such as webinars and peer-to-peer networks.

More Articles in this Category

Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation

The 2016-2021 Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation builds on 25 years of progress toward increasing walking and biking safety and activity throughout the United States. The 1994 National Bicycling and Walking Study: Transportation Choices for Changing America set the stage for advancing safe, accessible, comfortable, and well-used pedestrian and bicycle transportation networks, with a focus on increasing trips and reducing injuries and fatalities.

Bike Network Mapping Idea Book

This resource highlights ways that different communities have mapped their existing and proposed bicycle networks. It shows examples of maps at different scales, while also demonstrating a range of mapping strategies, techniques, and approaches. Facility types represented on the respective maps and legends are each different because they represent a community’s unique context and needs.

Bicycle-Rail Trip Analysis and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Focused Study

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently began studying the ways in which bicycling, for transportation and in combination with transit, can reduce automobile use and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The first of these focused studies concentrated on the Metro Orange Line and parallel bicycle path. This Bicycle Rail Trip Analysis and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study looks more broadly at bicycle trips to and from Metro Rail. The purpose of this study is to establish the benefits of providing an integrated transportation system where bicyclists are accommodated at train stations and on trains.