The impact of Light Rail Transit on residential value : empirical analysis of DART Green Line in Dallas
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Light Rail Transit (LRT) has been getting more attention in U.S. cities due to its socio-economic benefits, such as reducing pollution and congestion, as well as promoting regional economic development. However, huge capital costs remain an obstacle to the construction of a new light rail system. For this reason, cities in the planning phases of LRT want to use value capture tools to finance transit construction and operation. In theory, any improvement in a transportation structure that increases accessibility and reduces transportation cost can be capitalized into property values in an area. In turn, governments levy taxes on a portion of the additional value of adjacent properties. This study, however, aims to empirically examine whether value capture is possible in the recession when property and land values continue to decrease. The study uses the case of the DART Green Line, which started to run in 2009 just after a financial crisis in the U.S. The 5745 residential parcels are analyzed with using a hedonic price model in order to detect the Green Line’s influence on residential values before and after the recession. To enhance the proficiency of the regression, this study includes several structure and neighborhood characteristics. The statistical results found the Green Line’s benefits on residential values both in the pre-Green Line period (before the recession) and the post-Green Line period (during the recession). It is noteworthy there are still positive influences of transit accessibility on residential values even in the unstable housing market, although the magnitude of the variable has diminished compared to the pre-Green Line period.