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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2019 TOPIC AREA: Public transit, land use, and urban mobility Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Residential Moves Into and Away from Los Angeles Rail Transit Neighborhoods: Adding Insight to the Gentrification and Displacement Debate

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-18-04

Funding source: Caltrans

Contract number: 65A0674 TO-002

Funding amount: $100,000

Performance period: 2/1/2019 to 3/31/2020


Project description


We study moves into and away from rail station neighborhoods in Los Angeles. While the literature has focused on whether rail transit stations are sites of low-income residential displacement, very little research has studied whether places persons move to and from when moving into or out of rail transit station areas are less well-resourced to where they lived previously. We use confidential, anonymized agency data on household income and location and open source transit network data to describe the flows of household residential moves into and out of Los Angeles half-mile rail transit neighborhoods, from 2014 to 2015, and to describe the correlates of household moves and the characteristics of neighborhoods that most commonly send and receive households moving into and away from rail transit neighborhoods. By characterizing job access via transit in rail neighborhoods and in the locations where households move to when they leave rail transit areas, we offer a detailed understanding of how residential moves change transit-related job access for households. When households move away from rail transit station neighborhoods, we find that, on average, those households move to locations with reduced transit job access, lower school quality, and higher poverty rates, suggesting that the geography of opportunity should focus on providing job access, quality schools, and economic opportunities in locations that extend beyond rail station neighborhoods.


Link to project data on Dataverse 




Marlon Boarnet
Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs; Professor & Director of Graduate Programs in Urban Planning, Sol Price School of Public Policy
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 301CLos Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
[email protected]


Gary Painter
Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy
635 W. Downey Way, VPD 207
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3331
United States
[email protected]