Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Jun Yan (Director), David Keeling, Kevin Cary, Margaret Gripshover

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


The decision to live in a particular place, accept a job at a distant location, where to go shopping or purchase groceries, and many other similar decisions are all largely influenced by the availability of transportation. As such, it is important that everyone who requires transportation can have access. However, certain population segments, such as low income earners, are less likely to own cars due to the cost involved. There are others who may be impaired physically or have other difficulties that may prevent them from driving. Access to transportation is essential for people of all backgrounds and social statuses. Public transportation is therefore put in place by some cities to enhance the mobility and accessibility of commuters. This study assesses the services of the GO bg public transit service in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to determine how well its services meet the transportation needs of some population sub-groups in the city. A number of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) techniques, including service area analysis, intersect, areal proportion, and demand mapping, were employed in assessing the existing transit routes and stops, and the extent to which certain demographic groups, such as African Americans, Hispanics, seniors aged 65 and older, and low-income households, were served. The study also used spatial proximity to determine accessibility options from transit stops for transit riders. In this study, accessibility was determined based on the available destinations of some basic consumer necessities in the study area such as health, education, shopping, and recreation. The results of this study suggest that the GO bg transit service on the whole has a reasonable level of coverage, particularly within five-minute and seven-minute walking distances. It also provides acceptable accessibility to major activity centers such as health centers, higher educational institutions, grocery stores, and other places of basic needs, and most of these centers are within five-minute walking distance from the current bus stops. Findings from this study should help the management of public transit services in the study area and improve the provision of transit services to meet the transportation needs of vulnerable members of the community, such as transit dependent individuals. In addition, it could also contribute to the rather limited literature on studies of public transportation in small U.S. cities.


Geographic Information Sciences | Geography | Human Geography | Urban Studies and Planning