Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Carol Atkinson-Palombo, Nicholas Lownes

Field of Study

Civil Engineering


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


In 2006, the city of Denver completed a major phase of the T-REX project that included expanding a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, building 13 stations along the corridors of Interstates 25 and 225. The expansion brought mixed concerns about whether locating the system alongside interstate freeways would produce transit-oriented developments (TOD), or if it intended to have stations that serve multiple purposes, some functioning as destinations and others serving as feeder stations to generate ridership for the system. This prompted a study to (1) create a typology of station areas and determine what type of station areas are located near an interstate freeway and (2) to quantify what aspects of station areas promote ridership within the system, again with a particular focus on those stations adjacent to freeways. We identified numerous geographic variables considered to impact ridership such as land use, socio-economic population features, the street network, and features of LRT stations. We then used factor and cluster analysis on street network and land use data to create typologies of station areas based on these criteria. Of specific interest was whether stations located adjacent to interstate freeways had a unique built environment. We then used multiple regression analysis to estimate potential ridership relating to the built environment as well as the socio-economic and rail station characteristics as independent variables for each station. The overall results provided evidence that station areas near interstate freeways presented a built environment that could limit their ability to transition into a TOD compatible neighborhood.

Major Advisor

Norman Garrick