Kevin Zhang

University of British Columbia
MSc Candidate
School of Community and Regional Planning
Dr. Maged Senbel
Funding Period: 
2011 to 2013
The effect of urban design on transit rider perceptions and ridership

Kevin’s research aims to determine how urban design features around a transit station (bus or rail) affect peoples’ perceptions and use of public transport. Riders’ perceptions are important because pedestrian-friendly environments with real time information, for example, can increase a station’s catchment area, but poorly designed, badly lit access may inhibit use altogether. Quantifying the relationship between urban design improvements and Lower Mainland public transit, both in terms of dollars and ridership, may help accelerate BC’s transition to a more sustainable transportation system. This study’s results can be used by transit operators and municipal governments to prioritize improvements and to achieve maximum environmental/social benefit with limited funds.

Kevin’s love for the urban realm arises out of his educational and professional experience in civil engineering, architecture, and urban design. He is also inspired by the physically, economically and technologically diverse environments in which he has lived. Kevin holds a Bachelor of environmental design and is pursuing a Master of planning in transportation and urban design at the School of Community and Regional Planning at UBC. Outside of academia, he enjoys inventing, fabricating mechanical devices and playing badminton. Kevin’s works, such as bicycle infrastructure design and neighbourhood studies, can be found at