Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

David R. Martinelli.


The generalized cost of a transit user depends mostly on time and money spent per trip. On the other hand, time and distance determine most of the transit agency's cost to provide service. These are important factors to consider in determining the equity performance of service provided to users of different demographic groups. The purpose of this study is to determine significant statistical differences in resources spent by bus users in two metropolitan areas. The study measures inequality among different socioeconomic groups of users in terms of travel time and money consumed per mile in using the service. Inequality is then compared between two case studies.;Transit subsidies represent a transfer of income from taxpayers to bus users. Past studies have found that benefits disproportionately accrue for consumers of long distance trips---mostly higher-income, White, older, and male. Since transit policies seek to attract both, transit dependents and choice riders, the situation raises questions regarding these conflicting objectives.;This study gives a closer look to transit equity by including, not only fare, but also travel time as a way to include quality of service in terms of speed. This approach answers the question: "are faster trips charged cheaper?" Therefore, the analysis focuses on the monetary and temporal resources spent by users of different demographic background.;Information from household travel surveys performed by two metropolitan areas, Columbus and Seattle, is analyzed here. The survey data includes distance, travel time and fare paid per trip, summarized by user and household, and then analyzed along with the demographic information, such as household income, household size, ethnicity, gender, and age. Statistical differences in resources spent are found by using the t-test analysis and inequity is determined by means of the Gini coefficient and the Theil and Atkinson indices of inequality.;Statistical differences were found between demographic groups and inequality was measured. Results support previous findings, showing that---in the two case studies---lower income, minority, younger and female users pay more per mile of service. Furthermore, it was found that in addition to higher fares per mile, they also receive an inferior quality service in terms of speed.;The analysis points to the conclusion that faster trips are charged at cheaper rates of fare per mile. Results found however, are applicable only to the two metropolitan areas analyzed here and during the time when the surveys were taken (1999). The approach can be a useful method to compare transit equity between cities and improvements within the same city through time.