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Title:Relationships between Land Use, Transportation, Household Expenditures, and Municipal Spending in Small Urban Areas
Authors:Jeremy Mattson and Del Peterson
Publication Date:Dec 2019
TRID #:01730620
Keywords:commuting, demographics, expenditures, households, land use, population density, public transit, regression analysis, ridership, travel behavior, urban areas
Type:Research Report


This study developed a number of models to estimate the relationships between land use, transit ridership, household expenditures, and municipal spending, with a focus on small urban areas. First, a regression model was developed that estimated transit ridership in small urban areas as a function of service quantity, service characteristics, the unemployment rate, demographic characteristics, and population density. A second model, using American Community Survey data at the Census block group level, estimated the relationships between density and use of transit for commuting, as well as the impacts of living or working in the metro area's principal city on commuting behavior. Data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey were used to model relationships between dwelling type and age with household transportation expenditures. Lastly, a model was developed to estimate the impacts of land use and other factors on per capita municipal spending. The model was used to estimate spending for eight categories of expenditures that could be influenced by land use development.

Density was shown to be positively associated with transit ridership. The use of transit for commuting was found to increase with block group density, total metro population, if the area is within the principal city, and if a large percentage of workers commute to the principal city. Household transportation expenditures were found to be greater for those living in single-family detached structures and lowest for those living in high rises. Among households living in single-family detached structures, those in older homes were found to spend less on transportation. Density was also found to be negatively associated with per capita municipal expenditures for a number of cost categories.

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