Valuing rail access using transport innovations
In this paper we implement a powerful empirical approach than has not previously been applied to rail transport evaluation to ascertain how much consumers value rail access. We study the effects on house prices of a transport innovation that altered the distance to the nearest station for some households, but left others unaffected. The transport innovation we study is the construction of new stations under improvements made to the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway in South East London in the late 1990s. Using the innovation to implement a quasi-experimental approach studying house price changes in affected versus unaffected areas allows us to avoid the biases inherent in cross-sectional valuation work. Our evidence on distance-station effects on prices suggests that rail access is significantly valued by households and that these valuations are sizable as compared to the valuations of other local amenities and services.
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