Transit fare structure and equity: Case of MARTA, Atlanta
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Public transit in the US is heavily used by captive riders who depend on transit for their mobility. Studies have shown that the poor and minority groups live in the inner-city areas, travel shorter distances to downtown jobs and thus subsidize the trips by the rich suburban dwellers. These transit dependent riders also travel during non-peak hours and thus pay more for the service. However, studies have also indicated a trend of suburbanization of poverty across the cities of the United States. This is in contradiction to the earlier studies on travel patterns of transit dependent riders. This applied research paper uses the Atlanta Regional Commission’s (ARC) 2009-2010 Regional On-Board Transit Survey data to examine this discrepancy and evaluate equity impacts of alternative variable fare structures.