The impact of light rail transportation announcement and construction : the role of rail transit in property values, land use, demographics, equity, accessibility, and gentrification
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As American cities continue to expand and their existing transportation infrastructure becomes strained from increased demand, many cities have turned to light rail transit to not only alleviate congestion but also to provide an economic development stimulus to the areas around the stations. This report focuses on determining the economic impact on areas surrounding announced light rail stations in Austin, Texas while also attempting to quantify changes in land use and demographics experienced in a city who has an established light rail line; Dallas, Texas. In addition to examining any changes associated with the announcement and construction of a light rail project this report will qualitatively examine the role of these project in stimulating gentrification in station areas and what effect gentrification will have in preventing low-income households from accessing the improved transit system. The report will also propose actions that could ensure that these households continue to have access to public transportation, which would mitigate the strain of increasing transportation costs.