Urban Rail Transit Provides the Necessary Access to a Metropolitan Area: A Case Study of Portland, Oregon, USA

Access to good public transit for low-socioeconomic communities has been an important concern in transportation planning and urban studies research. In Portland, Oregon, USA, the rapid growth of housing prices and rents in the urban core has caused displacement of low-income residents to peripheral and suburban neighborhoods where housing is more affordable. Because public transit is generally more limited in the urban periphery and suburbs, there is concern that the low-income suburban residents may have more limited access to Portland’s light rail transit service than more affluent residents do. This study examines the relationships between the light rail transit accessibility and socioeconomic status—income, race and ethnicity—in the Portland metro area. Light rail transit accessibility is compared for all income and racial/ethnic groups across four access zones. Multinomial logistic econometric models were used to measure likelihood differences of being located in different access zones between each demographic group. The results show that there is no significant barrier for low-income and racial and ethnic minority residents to access urban rail transit in Portland. The results suggest that despite low-income residents’ movement to the suburbs, Portland’s urban rail transit system continues to serve all residents by providing cohesive connections between the urban core, periphery and suburbs.


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  • Accession Number: 01696180
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 1 2019 3:04PM