Date of Award

2015

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Watts

Second Advisor

Thomas Hudspeth

Third Advisor

Clare Ginger

Keywords

transportation, public transit, Vermont, rural transit, urban transit, gas prices

Abstract

I researched gas price and transit ridership data in the rural state of Vermont by county in the time period from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2013. My research has addressed the topic of understanding transit ridership, specifically in rural or micropolitan areas. Previous literature shows a lack of research on the relationship between transit ridership and gas prices in rural areas. I have used SPSS Statistical software and Excel to determine the relationship between Vermont gas prices and monthly ridership data from the various transit authorities throughout Vermont. I have discovered a statistically significant correlation between public transit ridership and gas prices in the one urban county in Vermont. Additionally, I found a statistically significant relationship in one rural county of Vermont, with the correlation becoming more significant once I lagged the gas price data. Using population density and information about each transit authority, I have determined that there is a statistically significant relationship between gas prices and ridership in urban counties of Vermont. I recommend Vermont adjust its gas tax in order to incentivize the use of public transit in more urban counties where there is greater access to public transit.

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