Transit Investment Impacts on Land Use Beyond the Half-Mile Mark

Research Team: Jae Hong Kim Ph.D. (lead), Douglas Houston Ph.D., Jaewoo Cho, Ph.D., Ashley Lo, Ph.D., and Naila Shareem

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: While transit-oriented development and other transit-centered initiatives have emerged in recent years as core strategies for attaining the vision of SB 375, little is known about how investments in a public transit system can actually modify urban land use patterns, and under what circumstances the (favorable) effects occur, and to what (spatiotemporal) extent. Prior research, although valuable, tends to assume transit lines/stations as a homogeneous facility/amenity without explicit consideration of their history, service quality, and other attributes that could generate a significant difference in land use outcomes. Furthermore, little scholarly attention has been paid to the expansion (or quality improvements) of a transit system that can (re)shape land use patterns consistently over time. In practice, half-mile circles have been used widely in delineating transit corridor areas but what can be achieved beyond this radius has remained unanswered.

Project Description: This project examines the impacts of light rail transit investments on broader vicinity areas in Los Angeles County. This project found that the land use impacts of public transit investments are not necessarily confined to the half-mile boundary around station areas, although substantial variation exists by transit line. While the areas beyond the half-mile mark were often excluded from conventional transit-oriented planning processes, these areas show a distinct pattern of land use transformation. Areas beyond the half-mile mark had a higher rate of development for several urban purposes, particularly after a few years have elapsed since the opening of nearby transit lines/stations.

Status: Completed

Budget: $49,149

Project Partner(s): California Air Resources Board and the Southern California Association of Governments

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