The latest report funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities – Transit Impacts on Jobs, People and Real Estate, from the University of Arizona – represents the culmination of nearly a decade of research into the economic effects of transit. To unpack the dense and substantial findings from 17 LRT, 14 BRT, 9 SCT, and 12 CRT systems in 35 metro areas across the United States, we're telling the story in chapters. Last month we focused on how transit impacts the locations of jobs

Now we're taking a deeper dive into volume 3 of the final report: Impact on Where People Live Over Time with Respect to Transit Station Proximity Considering Race/Ethnicity and Household Type and Household Budget by Transit Mode and Place Typology with Implications for Transit and Land Use Planning (PDF).

HOW DOES TRANSIT IMPACT WHERE PEOPLE LIVE?

By the year 2050, America is projected to gain at least 100 million new residents, 40 million new households, and 60 million new jobs. Demographic analysis and consumer preference surveys tell us that at least a third of America’s 150 million households (50+ million) in 2050 will want to live in...

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"(Overlooked) Association between Express Bus Station/Stop Proximity and Multifamily Rents with a Surprise about Transit Mode Synergism and Implications for Transit and Land Use Planning" is an April 2021 article in Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, authored by Arthur C. Nelson and Robert Hibberd of the University of Arizona. 

The article (PDF of pre-publication version here) is an offshoot of the researchers' NITC-funded project, Transit Impacts on Jobs, People and Real Estate, which we reported on last month. There are two key findings:

  • Express bus stops have positive influences on multifamily rents up to a mile away, and
  • Shared express bus and light rail transit stops have synergistic, additive effects on multifamily rents up to one mile around them.

The research is the first of its kind and should open new avenues of transit planning and land use policy. Future economic returns to local economies and local government resources may be maximized by increasing development opportunities near...

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The latest report funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities – Transit Impacts on Jobs, People and Real Estate, from the University of Arizona – represents the culmination of nearly a decade of research into the economic effects of transit. To unpack the dense and substantial findings from 17 LRT, 14 BRT, 9 SCT, and 12 CRT systems in 35 metro areas across the United States, we're telling the story in chapters starting with: how transit stations impact the location of jobs.

Nelson and fellow researchers Robert Hibberd, Kristina Currans and Nicole Iroz-Elardo of UA have completed the final phase of research into the development outcomes of light rail, bus rapid transit, streetcar, and commuter rail. The findings shed light on the complex interactions between transit station location and design, real estate rents, and where people live and work (watch the recent March 2021 webinar). It also offers ideas for consideration of how to improve these outcomes through better transit design and investment. The final report is presented in five volumes, with the...

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Principal Investigator: Arthur C. Nelson, University of Arizona
Learn more about this research on the Project Overview page.

July 2018 Update

We originally published this story in December 2017 about a new study in progress. The data clearinghouse created by the researchers is now live and can be accessed here. Researchers have also provided a guide to using the data (PDF). The research team has made this resource publicly available to allow transportation researchers to use it as they see fit: micro-level analysis, in-depth longitudinal studies, or anything in between. We anticipate the publication of the full final report by the end of 2019.

Robert Hibberd...

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Principal Investigator: Brenda Scheer, University of Utah
Learn more about this research by viewing the related presentations and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Transit-oriented development, or TOD, could be the “poster child” for sustainable urban development. It concentrates land uses, including commercial and multi-family housing, near transit stations so as to reduce car dependency and increase ridership. The benefits are manifold; increased community health, positive economic impacts, less harm to the environment and potentially greater social equity.

But what about affordability? In exchange for all these benefits, do TOD residents spend more money on transportation?

A new NITC ...

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Principal Investigator: Gerardo Sandoval
Learn more about this research by viewing the two-page Project Brief and the full Final Report on the Project Overview page.

Gentrification is a common, and deeply controversial, outcome of urban development.

It's usually the same story: investments in new infrastructure draw the affluent, causing market forces to displace lower-income residents. Neighborhoods become renovated, and the people who once defined the neighborhood can no longer afford to live there.

NITC researcher Gerardo Sandoval shows in his latest project that it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right level of community input, transit-oriented development has the potential to bring needed services to low-income residents while revitalizing their...

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A new NITC report examines metropolitan centers: high-density developments in metropolitan regions.

Mixed-use transit-oriented developments are one example of a metropolitan center, but high-density developments in suburban areas without transit also fit the definition.

Across the country, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are steering cities toward this type of development for a variety of reasons.

Many of them are facing the same constraints: poor air quality and increased congestion without an increase in dollars to solve it. One response to the problem involves getting a better handle on land use.

NITC researchers Richard Margerum and Rebecca Lewis of the University of Oregon and Keith Bartholomew of the University of Utah evaluated the planning process surrounding metropolitan centers in two case study regions, Denver and Salt Lake City.

“A lot of regions are paying attention to regional growth patterns. How do you do this at a regional scale when you don’t have the authority? What planners and MPOs are really facing is the question of how to support the adoption of these kinds of concepts,” Margerum said.

The goal of the study was to examine...

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Saddling transit-oriented developments with parking requirements better suited to typical suburban developments can make housing and office space near transit scarce and overly expensive. That’s one implication of a recent NITC research report "Trip and Parking Generation at Transit-Oriented Developments" examining driving and parking at these centers.

It makes sense that transit-oriented developments—dense, walkable centers close to transit that combine residential, commercial and office uses—would generate fewer car trips and need less parking than other development types. But until now, no one has found out how much less parking.

NITC researcher Reid Ewing of the University of Utah took up the challenge and reveals the answer in a report: a lot less. The developments Ewing’s team studied generally generated less than half the driving, and required fewer than half the parking spaces, than standard guidebooks predict. They presented some of their findings Jan. 10 during the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the conference or download the paper.

Ewing’s team studied transit-oriented...

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