Land Value Uplift and TOD in Toronto

Rapid transit projects that increase accessibility should result in a localised land value uplift (LVU) benefit for locations near stations. A rich history of research has tested this hypothesis, generally operationalising transit accessibility by proxy through distance from a transit station. However, a growing body of research has also demonstrated LVU effects from transit-oriented development (TOD) as individuals sort themselves into locations that best match their preferences and willingness to pay.

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Congestion and Commute Satisfaction

Despite decades of research, it is unclear under which circumstances travel is most onerous. While studies have found that some individuals derive positive utility from aspects of commuting, others have shown that traffic congestion can entail important time, monetary, and mental stress costs. Moreover, responses to traffic congestion-related stressors differs by individual characteristics. In response, this research captures how exposure to traffic congestion events, the duration of this exposure, and individual trait susceptibility to congestion affect the utility of commuting.

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40 Years of Rapid Transit’s Land Value Uplift

Identifying and measuring the land value uplift (LVU) impacts of rapid transit are important for a number of reasons. However, despite the general notion that rapid transit does confer positive LVU benefits, our comprehensive and critical review of more than 130 analyses across 60 studies completed in North America over the past 40 years finds significant heterogeneity in research outcomes, leaving many significant questions unanswered. Beyond high-level differences in study inputs, we argue that a fundamental source of variability is a lack of empirical specificity from the use of proximity as the dominant way in which LVU benefits are captured.

 

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Latent Class Model of TOD in Toronto

Transit oriented development (TOD), which is generally understood as the provision of higher-density, mixed- use, amenity-rich, and walkable development around rapid transit stations, has been championed as one of the most effective solutions for maximizing the potential return on investment for existing and future rapid tran- sit infrastructure projects. But it is clear that not all implementations of TOD are the same in every station catch- ment area across a transit network. This heterogeneity in station area contexts presents significant complexity for planners and policymakers interested in understanding existing TOD conditions, an area’s TOD potential, and the relevant policy and planning interventions required to achieve planning goals. It also creates complications for researchers interested in associating station contexts with various TOD outcomes.

 

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Review: Excess Commuting

The last three decades have witnessed substantial growth in the literature on excess commuting. Researchers have proposed and applied a number of commuting benchmarks and excess commuting indices that aim to evaluate the commuting efficiency and jobs-housing balance of cities. A comprehensive review and comparative evaluation of the proposed metrics in terms of their ability to capture the intended phenomena, while controlling for the other general characteristics of cities, has yet to be performed. This article attempts to fill this gap by…

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Light Rail and Land Use Change

Planners and policymakers often cite the tangible objective of land use change as a primary motivation and justification for an investment in light rail transit (LRT). But how has light rail performed with respect to achieving this goal? This paper reviews and synthesizes the previous literature on LRT and other rail rapid transit systems in North America, demonstrating that rail transit alone is not a primary driver of land use change and that six beneficial factors affect the ability of these systems to have a measurable impact on reshaping and revitalizing cities.

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