Title

LIGHT-RAIL-TRANSIT IMPACTS IN PORTLAND: THE FIRST TEN YEARS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

land use - impacts, land use - urban density, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail

Keywords

Property values, Portland (Oregon), Population density, Mode share, Modal split, Light rail transit, Impact studies, Case studies, Automobile ownership

Abstract

The ways in which the first decade of light-rail transit (LRT) in the Portland region have affected auto ownership, mode share, density, and property values are examined. Empirical analysis provides evidence that light rail has had some positive effects on single-family property values, transit use, and slower growth of two-plus car households in the outer part of the LRT corridor as compared with an outer part of a parallel bus corridor. These effects might be the result of households self-selecting to locate near LRT rather than the result of current households changing their mode. This assessment of the evidence indicates the extent to which consumer preferences have responded to LRT investments. This kind of assessment is needed to provide the basis for estimating travel-mode shares and market shares for dispersed and concentrated development forms. Examination of data suggests that it might be advisable for planners to entertain more modest expectations of LRT.