Transportation and land use planning, as a field, is shifting away from segregated uses connected by highways and streets to more compact, mixed-use developments connected by high-quality transit. This new paradigm has brought special attention to transit-oriented developments (TOD), which are sometimes touted as being among the most affordable, efficient places to live. But how affordable are they, and who has the power to effect change?

Is Transit-Oriented Development Affordable for Low and Moderate Income Households?, a study funded by the National Institute of Transportation and Communities (NITC), examines housing costs for households living in TODs. Led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, the team examined the housing affordability of TODs in U.S. cities across 23 regions. Register for a February 15 webinar to learn more about the project.

The analysis of housing costs revealed a lot of variability across different regions. Of all the examined housing developments, only 16 projects/developments out of 117 across 85 TOD sites were deemed 100% "affordable" – meaning that ...

Read more

NITC research led by Reid Ewing of the University of Utah, examining impacts that the built environment and development patterns have on transportation, has produced a number of journal articles in the past year. Three 2021 articles highlighted below each focus on different aspects of the body of work, which revolves around polycentric development and trip generation.

A May 2021 article in the Journal of Transport Geography estimated a vehicle ownership model that contributes to our understanding of vehicle ownership and improves the accuracy of travel demand forecasts. "The built environment and vehicle ownership modeling: Evidence from 32 diverse regions in the U.S.," authored by Sadegh Sabouri, Guang Tian, Reid Ewing, Keunhyun Park and William Greene, draws on findings from the NITC project Key Enhancements to the WFRC/MAG Four-Step Travel Demand Model

Two main outcomes of this paper are:

  1. The number of vehicles owned by a household increases with socio-demographic variables and decreases with almost all of the built environmental variables. For the urban planning and design practices, this finding suggests that car shedding occurs as built environments become more dense, mixed, connected,...
Read more

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've been telling the story in chapters. Previously we have explored how transit affects real estate rents, the locations of jobs and where people live.

Now we'll dive into the final chapter: Volume 5: Improving Transit...

Read more

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've been telling the story in chapters. Last month we focused on how transit affects where people live, and before that we explored how it impacts the locations of jobs.

This month, we're delving into volume 4 of the final report: Impact on Real Estate Rents with Respect to Transit Station Proximity Considering Type of Real Estate by Transit Mode and Place with...

Read more

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...

Read more

"(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...

Read more

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.

Arthur C. 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,...

Read more
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...

Read more

Pages