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 National Center for Transit Research (NCTR

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.

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.

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