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Research Project
Nexus of Transit and Livability in Rural Communities Phase 3: National Transit Livability Survey

In rural areas, public transportation provides critical lifeline services to transit dependent people connecting them to healthcare services, educational institutions, employment, and other important activities. While there are many factors that influence livability of a rural community, transit is believed to be an important contributor. However, this subject is poorly understood and there is a need for better understanding its significance towards rural livability. Some rural communities provide different kinds of public transit services, but others do not have any type of public transit. To investigate the nexus of transit and livability at community level, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) has conducted a two phase study involving conducting extensive literature review and pilot case study in the first phase and conducting multiple case studies across the country in the second phase of the study. The objective of these case studies was to evaluate the nexus of transit and livability in rural communities by studying the opinion of community residents, transit users, and transit stakeholders. The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) at North Dakota State University (NDSU) has collaborated with TTI in phase 2 of the study by conducting two case studies in the rural communities (Dickinson and Valley City) of North Dakota. Similar case studies were also conducted in Bath, Maine; Hannibal, Missouri; and Woodburn, Oregon by TTI.

While there is significant amount of data that is gathered from various case studies, phase 3 of the study will initially focus on translating the phase 1 and phase 2 study findings into digestible, audience-specific materials and messaging. Further, the main objective in phase 3 would be to augment previous work on rural livability and transit by designing and conducting a national survey to gather statistically significant public opinion. There is a great need to understand how transit influences livability in rural areas of United States as a big picture.


  • Conduct a national survey to study the general trend of livability and understand how transit influences livability in rural areas of the United States.
  • Gather statistically significant public opinion data nationally and translate all previous gathered information from phase 1 and phase 2 of the study into digestible, audience specific materials.
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050