UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Transit travel to the urban core of Great Vancouver. Karlsen, Erik Henry


This thesis examines spatial patterns of transit travel to the downtown core of Greater Vancouver. The study is placed within the context of earlier case studies of Vancouver's urban structure and also draws on notions of spatial interaction. In this context, the study qualifies the functional relevance of traditional models of urban spatial structure and urban transportation, which provide a basis for understanding movement to the core of the modern city. Cartographic analysis found transit travel patterns to the downtown core to be structured by distance from the core, with friction-free inner zone of 3 to 5 miles generating high per capita trips to the core and a rapid drop-off in trips per capita beyond this zone; and by socioeconomic variation in radially organized residential areas within this inner zone or "core ring". It was also demonstrated that sub zones of the downtown core were directionally oriented to socially defined residential sectors within the "core ring". This confirms findings of earlier case studies of the spatial structure of Greater Vancouver and the functional role and relationships of the downtown urban core. However, the initially identified relationships were only partly supported by subsequent statistical analysis. This suggested problems resulting from the unsuitability of using aggregate data collection unit information (traffic zones) to model functional associations underlying spatial interaction; this indicates a direction for further research. It is also suggested in conclusion that the 'core ring' model of Greater Vancouver deserves more study, particularly in view of its implications to transportation planning in this metropolitan area.

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