Driving reduction after the introduction of light rail transit: Evidence from an experimental-control group evaluation of the Los Angeles Expo Line

In this study, the authors offer the first use of experimental design to measure the impacts of light rail transit on vehicle miles traveled. Vehicle miles traveled is a key determinant of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector. Increased investment in public transport infrastructure across North America is aimed at increasing use of transit service and decreasing transport-related GHG emissions. The study's findings can offer insight into whether light rail reduces car use and whether light rail increases the number of rail transit trips for households in close proximity to the rail line. The authors use a experimental-control study design to evaluate the impact of the Expo light rail line, a new service that extends south and west from downtown Los Angeles, California, on the travel behavior of existing residents. Neighborhoods within walking distance of new stations are compared with similar neighborhoods further away from the stations. The study's findings show that households within 1 km of the new stations drive significantly fewer miles compared to those further away and the number of rail transit trips taken by households near stations is significantly higher than for those households beyond walking distance. The authors' research may also offer insights into how light rail transit investment has the potential to help achieve policy goals related to climate change.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 2780-2799
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01683940
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 24 2018 4:13PM