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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Do Rail Transit Stations Induce Displacement?

  • Author(s): Boarnet, Marlon;
  • Bostic, Raphael;
  • Rodnyansky, Seva;
  • Santiago-Bartolomei, Raúl;
  • Williams, Danielle
  • et al.

As the construction and usage of rail transit proliferates in cities across the world, concerns abound about impacts on surrounding neighborhoods – including gentrification and displacement. Los Angeles County has seen a massive rail transit buildout—from zero to 93 stations along six lines—in 25 years. This boom has led to a prevailing perception that Los Angeles’ rail transit development causes an influx of high-income residents and an outflow of low-income residents near rail stations.

This policy brief summarizes research that tests this perception by answering the following questions related to rail transit and household moves: Do rail transit stations affect residential move rates in surrounding neighborhoods? And, if so, then are lower income or long-term residents disproportionally displaced from the neighborhood?

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