Research Program Area: Climate Change
In 2008 California passed Senate Bill 375 requiring metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) to develop Sustainable Communities Strategies (SCS) as part of their regional transportation planning process. While the implementation of these strategies has the potential for environmental and economic benefits, rising housing costs and changing neighborhood conditions may compel low-income residents and households to move out of transit-oriented neighborhoods. This out-migration is called "displacement."
The study examined the relationship between fixed-rail transit neighborhoods and displacement in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. The researchers modeled patterns of neighborhood change in relation to transit proximity and found that transit proximity is associated with changes in the stability of the surrounding neighborhood, such as increases in housing costs and the loss of low-income households. The researchers found that gentrification and displacement in rail station areas would only be likely to cause an increase in auto usage and regional vehicle miles traveled (VMT) when accompanied by a significant loss of population near transit. The results support the consideration of displacement in the development of SCSs, and the research also explored the possibility of considering displacement in travel demand models used by the LA and San Francisco MPOs and via off-model tools. Finally, researchers examined the effectiveness of anti-displacement strategies, and the results may be useful for MPOs, local jurisdictions, and communities.
*Final Report updated from the March 24, 2017 version to clarify terms. New/current version uploaded on May 3, 2017.
For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753
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