An Exploration of Methodologies: Quantitative and Qualitative Methodology Fusion in an Investigation of Perceptions of Transit Safety

(Center Identification Number: 416-08 parts 1 and 2) 

Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches to transit research provides an innovative tool in both determining and understanding the needs of users and non-users. The present work builds upon the usefulness of each method and integrates them in the assessment of non-users’ perceptions of transit safety and security. The results from the quantitative and qualitative studies are examined in the context of integration and comparison and a new concept called triangulation of methodologies is introduced. Recommendations are made as to how transit agencies might improve the perception of a safe and secure transit environment among non-users. An epistemological discussion of methodological integration is also provided. The two methods are in concordance with one another, verifying that people don’t use transit because it is inconvenient, not because of safety issues. However, the triangulation of results produces an enriched data product, with qualitative results expanding motivations behind non-use of transit and quantiative results linking the responses to certain demographic groups and quantifying the results. Triangulation is an effective research tool which yields a product in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

In addition, a comparison of transit user versus non-user perceptions of transit safety is included to verify if the reasons which non-users gave for not using transit are valid. In the transit user survey, participants were more concerned about safety than transit non-users. Transit users would like for the system to be more convenient in aspects of travel time and ease of use, but they were more worried about safety. Women and seniors were especially worried about their safety while using the system. Download the final report. Research conducted by Jennifer Perone and Lisa Tucker. For more information, contact Joel Volinski at or Dennis Hinebaugh at

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