Commuter rail accessibility and house values: The case of the Montreal South Shore, Canada, 1992–2009

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - impacts, land use - transit oriented development, mode - rail, place - north america, ridership - commuting


Commuter train, Public transportation, Hedonic price model, Difference-in-differences estimator, Spatio-temporal analysis, Policy evaluation


While public transportation (PT) plays a crucial role in the social and environmental dimensions, its impacts on the location rent remain poorly known. However, there is a strong connection between PT infrastructures and real estate markets since the former may generate externalities that can influence sales prices. This paper aims at estimating the actual effect of implementing a commuter train service between a major city (Montreal, Canada) and its southern periphery occurring in 2000–2003. Using a difference-in-differences (DID) estimator in the hedonic price model for single-family house sales between 1992 and 2009, the paper estimates the direct marginal price impact of a new commuter train service following changes in access to stations. Results suggest that the opening of a new commuter train service on the Montreal South Shore generates a location premium for houses located in the stations’ vicinity (as measured through walking distance and car driving time) as opposed to houses that do not experience any improvement in accessibility to the commuter train service, either in space or in time. In addition, the new service raises property tax income for involved municipalities by several million dollars a year through enhanced property values.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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