Quality of life (QOL) is a commonly used term. Defining QOL, however, is an ongoing challenge that experts
often take on with minimal input from citizens. This groundbreaking research sought citizen input on what
comprised QOL and what role transportation played in it. Further, this research explored in detail the important
factors across the breadth of transportation and how the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) was
performing on these important factors. The research encompassed three phases between 2010 and 2011: (1) an
extensive literature review on QOL, (2) 24 focus groups that asked Minnesota’s citizens about their QOL, and (3) a
mail questionnaire about what matters in quality of life, transportation and their intersection. Eleven related quality
of life factors emerged, including transportation: education, employment and finances, environment, housing,
family, friends and neighbors, health, local amenities, recreation and entertainment, safety, spirituality/faith/
serenity, and transportation. Within transportation, seven important areas were identified that predicted satisfaction
with MnDOT services: access, design, environmental issues, maintenance, mobility, safety and transparency.
Results reveal that a) QOL is complex and transportation plays an important and consistent role in it across
Minnesota; b) transportation is critical to QOL because it connects us to important destinations in aspects that
matter most; and c) Minnesotans can readily identify what matters and how the state is performing within the
breadth of transportation services.
Schneider, Ingrid E..
Quality of Life: Assessment for Transportation Performance Measures.
Minnesota Department of Transportation.
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