Graduation Year

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Economics

Major Professor

Joseph S. DeSalvo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Xuehao Chu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Murat Munkin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christopher R. Thomas, Ph.D.

Keywords

bus rapid transit, hedonic regression, housing prices, property values

Abstract

The nation’s economy depends heavily on mobility of goods and people. As communities look to improve mobility, many options can be considered, including roadway improvements, congestion-pricing options such as dynamic tolling and toll lanes, and public transit. Investment in public transit services can come in the form of increased and enhanced bus services, including bus rapid transit (BRT), as well as rail transit investments. As BRT continues to grow in popularity in the United States, a better understanding of the mode’s impacts on land uses and economic development is needed. One method of assessing the mode’s impacts is by examining the market value of properties with access to BRT stations. Based on land-rent theory, it is hypothesized that people will be willing to pay a premium for convenient and reliable access via BRT to the central business district (CBD) or other locations with employment, educational, recreational, and shopping opportunities.

Very little research has been conducted on BRT as it operates in the present day in the United States. For this work, the hypothesis is that the BRT stations have a positive impact on the market value of residential properties. To test this hypothesis, hedonic price regression models are used to estimate the impact of access to BRT stations on the sale prices of surrounding single-family homes using a case study of the HealthLine BRT system in Cleveland, Ohio that began operating in 2008. Three time periods were examined: 2004, the year construction began; 2008–2009, after the HealthLine BRT service began operation; and 2010–2011, the latest year for which sales data are available. Despite a documented decline in median sale prices of single-family homes in the city of Cleveland from 2005 to 2011, overall results of the analysis were mixed. Although it was prior to the opening of the BRT system, the 2004 data did not show any impacts of the stations on surrounding home sale prices. For the 2008–2009 data, positive and statistically significant impacts were found; however, the positive impacts did not persist in the 2010–2011 data. It would likely be necessary to seek out additional years of data to fully answer the question posed by this research.

It is important for decision-makers to have the most accurate and most recent information on the benefits and costs of all transportation alternatives, including BRT. The research presented herein makes a significant contribution to filling the current gap in quantitative research on the subject and provides planners, policymakers, and the transit industry with the best information possible to make sound transit investment decisions in their communities.

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