Residential relocation in response to light rail transit investment: case study of the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail system

It is widely acknowledged that the improved accessibility enabled by investment in public transport services can, under favorable market conditions, impact the local real estate market within the zone of influence of the service’s stations. The motivation for this study is to establish the nature of two such impacts, specifically the spatial and socio-economic patterns of residential relocations that are driven by the new light rail transit (LRT) service. Using empirical data (n = 1,023) from the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail system in New Jersey (US), we report findings regarding the impacts of the introduction of the new LRT service. We investigate two linked dimensions; the first is the distinctive socio-economic profile of LRT passengers who self-report having relocated to the new transit corridor due, at least in part, to the new transit service. The second is their proximity (following their residential relocation) to the new LRT line’s stations. We present a novel analysis that accounts for endogeneity between these two dimensions of residential relocation. Of light rail passengers who engaged in a residential relocation in the 5 years prior to the survey, two-thirds (69%) indicate that proximity to the light rail service was a ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ important consideration. Via the multivariate analysis, we demonstrate that small household size, low income, youth (as opposed to older age), and low car ownership are each positively linked, ceteris paribus, with having engaged in a residential relocation motivated by the new transit service. Finally, higher household income is found to be associated with distance (after relocation) to the nearest transit station, which is consistent with bid-rent theory.

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    • © 2016 Xiaobo Liu et al. The contents of this paper reflect the views of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Transportation Research Board or the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Authors:
    • Liu, Xiaobo
    • Deng, Yi
    • Le Vine, Scott
  • Publication Date: 2016-6


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01602069
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 10 2016 9:56AM