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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Regional Planning

Degree Type

Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Public transportation, Immigrants, Focus groups


Public transportation ridership levels have decreased since the end of World War II. Transit systems in small cities struggle to maintain ridership levels high enough to continue receiving local subsidies. Individuals with refugee status, and those with limited English proficiency (LEP), represent an opportunity to increase ridership. The bus system increases mobility for people without a car or driver’s license, including many refugees and LEP people, thereby increasing their accessibility to work and education. This thesis places the local bus system in Manchester, New Hampshire in a historical context and identifies some barriers and potentials for increasing refugee and LEP ridership. In addition to increasing headways and hours of operation, recommendations point to improved publicity, including distributing route maps and schedules more widely, using clearer bus stop signs, and providing bus passes for refugees in the first few months after arrival. It should be noted that language did not arise as a barrier to transit ridership in this study.


First Advisor

Ellen J. Pader