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Many northern rural areas in the United States present particular challenges to providing year-round transportation options for residents. Climate and the distribution of population and amenities present challenges to developing rural mobility systems that may result in a higher quality of life. Using structural equation modeling and a 2009 survey of residents of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, this study estimated how the availability of built amenities, natural amenities, weather and attitudes toward travel explain actual and unserved travel demand and subsequently quality of life. The presence of unserved travel demand significantly decreased quality of life, while the predicted number of trips taken had no impact. With regard to quality of life in northern rural climates, future mobility initiatives would have more impact by addressing trips not taken as measured by unserved travel demand, instead of number of trips or vehicle miles traveled. © 2013 The Authors.

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© 2013 The Authors



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