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WMATA Study Added To Best Practices

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's 2005 study of travel behavior of people traveling to and from office, residential, hotel and retail sites near Metrorail stations has been added to Best Practices.

The purpose of the 2005 Development Related Ridership Survey was to update a 1989 study conducted by WMATA. The 2005 effort sought to determine if modal splits for these land uses have changed over time and whether certain physical site characteristics still impact transit ridership.

The information gleaned from these sites does provide a good look into the current state of travel at sites around rail stations and offer some explanation as to cause and effect.

The 2005 survey results confirmed previous findings that the walking distance between a site and the Metrorail station affects transit ridership.  Based on the survey results, this relationship was stronger for residential sites than for office sites.  In urban fringe or outlying locations, residential uses may be more reliable in boosting Metrorail ridership than office uses. At the overall site level, survey results showed that high-density, mixed-use environments with good transit access generated higher shares of transit and walk trips than those areas dominated by a single use.

Metrorail continues to remain competitive with the automobile in markets where it provides good access and service and has increased its mode share in the core since 1989. Overall, when compared to the results of the 1989 Survey, the 2005 results suggest that land uses surrounding Metrorail stations are supporting higher transit use than in 1989. For office sites, the overall average transit share among the sites was about 93 percent greater than 1989. For residential sites, transit shares appeared to have changed little.

Link to Best Practices