According to RTD (2012), when new development occurs near stations, it increases the likelihood that residents and workers will choose transit as their transportation mode. "Measuring the Impact of Light Rail Systems on Single Family Home Values: A Hedonic Approach with GIS Applications." As housing values rise and fewer vacancies exist, the displacement of existing residents, especially low income residents, begins to happen. RTD has conducted a Quality of Life (QoL) study for the neighborhoods' impacted by FasTracks with baseline data collection starting in 2006 and continuing bi-annually to the present. It is true that the income of rail transit workers that is spent helps the local economy, but the same would be true for the dollars of citizens if they had not been taxed. (2004). However, they are often displaced disproportionately with light rail expansion. One clear benefit of rail transit, however, is higher property values for homes and businesses located near a transit station. Automobile injury hazards arise due to existing light rails. This article discusses six key issues surrounding light-rail transit and is a starting point for debate. 1576, 1997, pp. The salaries of rail transit workers paid for by subsidies should not count as new income to the local area—tax dollars have simply been transferred from local residents and state and national taxpayers to rail transit workers, effectively taking jobs from other industries. American Public Transit Association. "Ten Transit Myths: Misperceptions about Rail Transit in Los Angeles and the Nation." Douglas is an elevated light rail station on the Los Angeles County Metro Rail Green Line. Our research finds that light rail is cost-inefficient compared to using private automobiles. However, fares cover on average about 25 percent to 30 percent of operating expenses, with local, state and federal subsidies covering the remainder. One study found that property values in Portland, Ore., increased by $75 for every 100 feet closer a home is to a light-rail station, and the average home price in New York declined … Such factors include the misinterpretation of a light rail vehicle horn as another automobile's horn, and the driver's expectation of a normal intersection when in actuality the intersection includes a light rail crossing. Whether light-rail systems in the United States are a benefit or a boondoggle in the communities that build them has been argued for many years. It is equally if not more important that such hazards be closely monitored and mitigated to ensure public health and safety. Close to a dozen cities have opened new rail transit lines in the past decade, and many more are considering such lines. Construction costs: Most Construction jobs are temporary, however, and may go to contractors outside of the local area, depending upon the bidding process and job requirements. Some negative consequences are increases in noiselevel, loss of wetlands, adverse impacts to historic sites, gentrification, and risk of displacement. Geared to a Main Street audience, this e‑newsletter provides a sampling of the latest speeches, research, podcasts, videos, lesson plans and more. 38-43. (2012). A 2011 study done by Human Impact Partners in Minnesota showed that light rail and RTD expansion in their communities had at least one if not all of these negative outcomes: higher rate of residential and business displacement, increase in housing values causing fewer vacancies and a decrease in affordable housing, and displacement of existing residents—especial… Explore data, research and more in FRASER, our digital library. Research also shows that less time spent driving results in a reduced stress level, resulting in a higher quality of life. According to the 2002 Urban Mobility Report, traffic congestion in American cities both with and without light-rail transit has steadily increased since the 1980s. In St. Louis, for example, operating costs per rider in 2001 totaled $1.59 and revenue per rider totaled 60 cents. Citizens can pay tens of millions of dollars annually to subsidize light-rail transit in their community. Landis, John; Cervero, Robert; Guhathukurta, Subhrajit; Loutzenheiser, David; and Zang, Ming. Transportation Research Record, No. Driver's actions such as disobedience to traffic rules and signs, as well as failure to perceive due to poor stimulus observability are factors of hazard causation. The failure of rail proponents and officials to compute this cost understates the total economic costs of light-rail transit. The Streamlight ProTac rail mount long gun light is one of the best weapon lights ever made and it boasts of an array of features that makes it worthy to be listed among the best. And, if traffic congestion does increase, there's even less improvement on pollution. Pros: * Light rail has a lower capital cost than standard rail or metro rail. Learn more about the Econ Lowdown Teacher Portal and watch a tutorial on how to use our online learning resources. Users of public transit who do not use trains or light rail walk an additional six minutes compared with non-users, whereas those who use trains or light rail walk an additional 4.5 minutes, for a total of 10.5 extra minutes per day. "Estimating the effects of light rail transit on health care costs". Both residential and business displacement can have significant negative impacts on health of already vulnerable communities. 5. Stokes, R. J.; MacDonald, J. and Ridgeway, G. (2008). The majority who spoke favored enhanced transit but realized the original light rail plan of 2012 is no longer viable. Building a light rail system in a heavily populated area can also pose delicate social challenges.  Further investigation and data collection is needed to prevent these injury hazards. Citizens got 3 minutes each for their input. We’ll email you when a new Bridges article is published. To ride rail transit to work, for example, people may have to drive to a rail station, board the train and then, upon exiting the train, walk several blocks or more to reach work. All transit service involves a trade-off between speed and frequency of stops. K. Button and D.E. Autos offer people personal space and a sense of independence. While the tax cost per voter is small, in sum the total tax costs per year can be quite large. (1997) concluded that drivers engage in undesirable behaviors or actions, which are not considered hazardous, are rather legal to do. If rail transit systems are so cost-ineffective, why do voters approve local tax increases to fund operations? Chen, Hong; Rufolo, Anthony; and Dueker, Kenneth. In addition, while transit workers provide a benefit to society by operating light-rail transit, the value of this benefit compared to the benefit citizens would receive from lower taxes is subjective. In sum, this indicates a lack of committed follow through in measuring public health indicators and developing appropriate studies to indicate causal relationships between light rail development and public health impacts. While rail operation creates jobs in that industry, an important point is that these jobs are mostly taxpayer funded (given the large subsidies to rail transit). Is greatest in more densely populated, lower-income areas federal Reserve most effectively serves the public by building more..., et al the neighborhood benefits of rail proponents and officials to compute this understates. 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