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Do Rail Transit Stations Encourage Neighborhood Retail Activity?

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  • Jenny Schuetz

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, California has made substantial investments in intra-metropolitan passenger rail infrastructure, expanding existing systems and building new ones. According to advocates of New Urbanism, such investment should encourage the growth of mixed-use transit-oriented development, defined as a high-density mix of residential and commercial uses within walking distance of rail stations. Little research to date has examined whether rail investment stimulates retail activity, which is a key component of mixed-use development. In this paper, I test whether the opening of new rail stations across California’s four largest metropolitan areas has affected retail employment within one-quarter mile of the stations, compared to similar neighborhoods around older stations or with no rail stations. Results indicate that new rail stations were located in areas with initially high employment density, somewhat outside the city centers. The impact of new stations on nearby retail activity varies within and across metropolitan areas. While new station openings are not significantly associated with retail employment across all MSAs, in the Los Angeles and Sacramento MSAs new stations are negatively associated with retail. Newly opened stations are positively associated with retail employment around suburban stations, but have a negative relationship near downtown stations.

Suggested Citation

  • Jenny Schuetz, 2014. "Do Rail Transit Stations Encourage Neighborhood Retail Activity?," Working Paper 9243, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate.
  • Handle: RePEc:luk:wpaper:9243
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    File URL: http://lusk.usc.edu/sites/default/files/Retail-TOD-2_8_2014.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Zheng, Siqi & Xu, Yangfei & Zhang, Xiaonan & Wang, Rui, 2016. "Transit development, consumer amenities and home values: Evidence from Beijing's subway neighborhoods," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 22-33.
    2. Garcia-López, Miquel-Àngel & Hémet, Camille & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2017. "Next train to the polycentric city: The effect of railroads on subcenter formation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 50-63.
    3. Jonas Eliasson & Fredrik Kopsch & Svante Mandell & Mats Wilhelmsson, 2020. "Transport Mode and the Value of Accessibility–A Potential Input for Sustainable Investment Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-14, March.
    4. Zheng, Siqi & Hu, Xiaoke & Wang, Jianghao & Wang, Rui, 2016. "Subways near the subway: Rail transit and neighborhood catering businesses in Beijing," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 81-92.
    5. Genevieve Giuliano & Jenny Schuetz & Eun Jin Shin, 2016. "Is Los Angeles Becoming Transit Oriented?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Genevieve Giuliano & Jenny Schuetz & Eun Jin Shin, 2016. "Does Zoning Help or Hinder Transit-Oriented (Re)Development?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-020, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Zhong, Haotian & Li, Wei, 2016. "Rail transit investment and property values: An old tale retold," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 33-48.
    8. Giulio Grossi & Patrizia Lattarulo & Marco Mariani & Alessandra Mattei & Ozge Oner, 2020. "Synthetic Control Group Methods in the Presence of Interference: The Direct and Spillover Effects of Light Rail on Neighborhood Retail Activity," Papers 2004.05027, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2020.

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    Keywords

    Transit-oriented development; economic development; retail location;

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