Testing the decentralization effects of rail systems: Empirical findings from Israel

Emil Israel
Galit Cohen-Blankshtain

Transportation Research Part A: Home page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564


Many sustainable urban development approaches are based on mass public transportation ventures, especially railway development, which has been considered a panacea for the unfavorable effects of suburban development. But rail transit also improves accessibility to the fringes, thus encouraging an exodus to the suburbs. This paper explores suburbanization and sprawling effect of commuter rail transit on the rural exurbia of the Tel Aviv metropolis by analyzing its effect on residential location decisions. The findings indicate that the suburban rail system was a determinant factor in the location choice of households which migrated from the inner parts of the Tel Aviv metropolis, since it allowed them to maintain strong commuting connections to their residential origin. This suggests that rail transit, along with its potential to strengthen the inner cities, also accelerates suburbanization and counter urbanization.