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Capitalization of Transit Investments into Single-Family Home Prices: A Comparative Analysis of Five California Rail Transit Systems

  • Author(s): Landis, John
  • Guhathakurta, Subhrajit
  • Zhang, Ming
  • et al.
Abstract

It has become popular in recent days to suggest that rail mass transit investment can be a useful implementation lever for guiding urban growth (Calthorpe, 1993; Katz, 1993). It is often argued that rail mass transit extensions, along with supportive land use policies, will encourage higher residential densities and the development of mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented urban "villages," particularly at transit stations. By helping to cluster development at station nodes and along rail corridors, investments in rail mass transit will discourage low-density suburban sprawl, promote open-space preservation, reduce development pressures on the natural environment, and make better use of existing infrastructure -- thereby lowering total public service costs. Moreover, to the extent that residents of such station area villages substitute transit use for auto use, vehicle emissions and traffic congestion will also be reduced. Because congestion and auto-based emissions reductions are key goals of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, numerous agencies charged with implementing these two acts are seriously considering programs that emphasize rail mass transit construction and the coordinated development of urban or transit villages.

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