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The Development Effects of High-Speed Rail Stations and Implications for California


  • Sands, Brian D.


High-speed rail is the most visible form of new technology accompanying and enhancing the transformation to an information-based economy, and is likely to have the greatest spatial development effects of any of these technologies. This report studies the development effects of high-speed rail stations on behalf of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which is currently considering the use of high-speed rail in California. Since high-speed rail is a relatively new technology and is in use in only a few countries, the development effects of high-speed rail stations are somewhat difficult to discern and categorize. Nonetheless, a review of the literature on its development effects in Japan, France, and Germany, and observation of stations in the latter two countries, reveals significant development effects at the regional, urban, and station levels. These include changes to the following: population and employment growth rates; ridership; business behavior; real estate values and activity; business and employment location; and residential location. A review of related rail systems, heavy and commuter rail, reveals similar effects and opportunities for value capture. The development effects of high-speed rail stations are most clearly associated with a strong regional economy and good links with other transportation modes, especially rail links to the local city center and public sector support of development. The presence of these factors can help provide the formation of significant development activity around stations catering to the information-exchange sector, such as offices and hotels, the stimulation of retail activities in the area, and increases in overall land value of approximately 20 percent. At the regional and urban levels, concentrations of information-exchange sector employment and centers of higher education are associated with above-average employment and population growth rates, as well as access to high-speed rail. In California, high-speed rail would reinforce existing population and employment patterns and future growth trends. In order to fully exploit station development opportunities and ensure ridership, the agency responsible for developing a high-speed rail system in California must take an active role in station area development and coordinate its activities with local transportation agencies.

Suggested Citation

  • Sands, Brian D., 1993. "The Development Effects of High-Speed Rail Stations and Implications for California," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt13t478sf, University of California Transportation Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt13t478sf

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sands, Brian D., 1992. "InterCity Express: A Technical and Commercial Assessment," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3m25p35g, University of California Transportation Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hongsheng Chen & Dongqi Sun & Zhenjun Zhu & Jun Zeng, 2016. "The Impact of High-Speed Rail on Residents’ Travel Behavior and Household Mobility: A Case Study of the Beijing-Shanghai Line, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-14, November.
    2. Cecilia Ribalaygua & Francisco Garcia, 2011. "Hsr Stations In Europe: New Oportunities For Urban Regeneration," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1401, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Marie Delaplace & FRANCESCA PAGLIARA & Julie Perrin, 2013. "Does High Speed Rail services influence tourists' choice? Some concerns from Paris and Roma and other linked cities," ERSA conference papers ersa13p13, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Inmaculada Mohino & Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris & José María Urena, 2014. "Impacts of High-Speed Rail on Metropolitan Integration: An Examination of London, Madrid and Paris," International Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3-4), pages 306-334, November.
    5. Marie Delaplace & Sylvie Bazin & christophe Beckerich & Corinne Blanquart, 2011. "High speed Rail service and local economic development, a review," ERSA conference papers ersa10p167, European Regional Science Association.
    6. Sylvie Bazin & Christophe Beckerich & Marie Delaplace, 2013. "TGV services and small and medium sized cities : an illustration by the case of tourism in Arras, Auray, Charleville-Mézières and Saverne
      [Desserte TGV et villes petites et moyennes. Une illustrati
      ," Post-Print hal-01184947, HAL.
    7. Jasper Willigers & Han Floor & Bert Van Wee, 2005. "High-speed railÂ’s impact on the location of office employment within the Dutch Randstad area," ERSA conference papers ersa05p308, European Regional Science Association.
    8. Dominique Bouf & Christian Desmaris, 2015. "Spatial equity and high speed trains: the example of France," Working Papers halshs-01137902, HAL.
    9. Dominique Bouf & Christian Desmaris, 2015. "High speed trains and spatial equity in France
      [Trains à grande vitesse et équité spatiale en France]
      ," Working Papers halshs-01194897, HAL.

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