METRANS

11-08 Reconsidering the Impact of Access to Transit on Local Land Markets

Project Number

11-08

Project Summary

Reconsidering the Impact of Access to Transit on Local Land Markets

Project Status

Complete

Year

2011

Topic Area

Urban Mobility

P.I. Name & Address

Associate Professor; Director, Graduate Programs in Real Estate, Sol Price School of Public Policy
University of Southern California
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 321
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
redfearn@usc.edu

Project Objective:
There are two primary goals of this research: first, to reconsider the metrics and tools used to assess the spillovers of transit investment into local land markets; and second, to use these results in order to obtain more accurate and robust estimates of these spillovers. Beyond direct impacts such as changes in mode share and congestion, transit investment may have myriad indirect impacts. For example, it is argued that by changing the accessibility of locations through transit investment, the economics of proximal land markets are changed. If true, this could result in the capitalization of improved access into local property values, in changes in land uses and land-use intensity, in changes in employment and population density, and in changes in the types of employment around stations. This research analyzes these variables in order to develop a more robust, accurate, and comprehensive assessment of the broader impacts of transit investment on land proximal to transit stations and lines.

Previous METRANS funded-research (METRANS Project 08-07 and the published version of it: Redfearn, 2009a), demonstrated that a set of "standard" tools for assessing capitalization of proximity to passenger rail stations are highly unstable in the presence of housing submarkets – a common feature of the urban areas served by mass transit. This research will expand and extend upon previous research 1) to include a much larger geographical area and to consider more and different instances of transit investment – moving from Los Angeles and two passenger rail lines to all California metropolitan areas and both rail and rapid bus lines; 2) to revisit the tools of assessment in light of the previous findings of parameter instability; 3) to use the results of this process to revisit capitalization for these larger samples, as well as other metrics of changes in proximal land markets such as firm births and deaths, changes in the types of employment, and employment density; and 4) to reconsider two types of policy in light of the findings. First, it would reconsider the evaluation of transit investment proposals and how indirect benefits and costs are forecast. Second, it may be that local land use policy prevents markets from responding to the changed accessibility and realizing potential benefits from transit investment. Both policy questions should be informed by this research.

Task Descriptions
(1) Collecting and accessing the data; map sample data and transit systems; provide descriptive analysis of the raw data, of the metropolitan areas, and of the areas around transit stations
(2) Model development, testing, estimation; update current best practices; establish base lines; estimate nonparametrics
(3) Interpretation of results, refinements, dissemination
(4) Draft and final project report

Milestones, Dates:
(1) August 2010 – September 2010
(2) September 2010 – December 2010
(3) January 2011 – June 2011
(4) July 2011

Total Budget:
$89,997

Student Involvement:
One student at 25% for 9 months
One student at 25% for 12 months

Relationship to Other Research Projects:
Related to 04-18, 08-07; part of the goods movement focus area

Technology Transfer Activities:
Project report will be posted soon

Potential Benefits of the Project:
Guidance for policies that promote development around transit stations, insight into argument that transit infrastructure increases surrounding land values

TRB Keywords:
Economics, Planning and Forecasting, Policy, Public Transportation

Primary Subject:

1p.1 To reconsider the metrics and tools used to assess the spillovers of transit investment into local land markets, and to use these results in order to obtain more accurate and robust estimates of these spillovers.