Measuring real user attachment to mass transit

The deployment of mass transit responds to societal, economic and environmental imperatives. But beyond the statistics and surveys on the use of these services, how can decision makers measure citizen satisfaction regarding transport services and infrastructures? The members of the research team Accès à la Cité (City Access), directed by Marius Thériault from Université Laval, have managed to answer this question by perfecting an approach allowing not only the measurement of the existence of user appreciation, but also the spatialization of its effects and the evaluation of its impact on the economy. 

This approach allowed the researchers to calculate the tax implications and economic impact of the establishment of the Métrobus in Quebec City in the 1990s. It was thus determined that, from 1992 to 2004, the Métrobus (routes 800 and 801) generated an increase in value of 42 million dollars for the single-family homes located within a service corridor extending from 50 to 300 metres on either side of the bus routes. For the municipalities concerned, this increase in value generated a fiscal impact of more than 5 million dollars, the details of which were published in the journal Transportation Research Part A – Policy and Practice 45(1). 

Another of the team's research projects revealed that in Quebec City, buyers of suburban single-family homes appreciate having an express bus services at a distance of 100 to 400 metres from their residence, and are willing to pay 7 to 11% more for a house with access to this service. These results have appeared in International Journal of Sustainable Transportation 4(6). 

These studies will be extended to integrate the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and, in the Montreal region, the impact of commuter trains on land rent. Some of the results have already appeared in the journal Routes et Transports, published by the Association québécoise du transport et des routes (issues 37(3) and 38(2)), and provide elected officials with pertinent information for better urban planning.


Équipe Accès à la Cité


Marius Thériault, Université Laval

Regular members

  • Mario Carrier, Université Laval 
  • François Des Rosiers, Université Laval 
  • Martin Lee, Université Laval 
  • Jean Mercier, Université Laval 
  • Catherine Trudelle, Université du Québec à Montréal 
  • Marie-Hélène Vandersmissen, Université Laval 
  • Paul-Y. Villeneuve, Université Laval