New transit lowers ridership?

There is a report making the rounds from the Dukakis Center at Northeastern University in Boston that seems to have some controversial findings:  they claim that new transit lines may actually lower ridership in the neighborhoods they serve as a result of gentrification.

I’m at work right now, so I can’t dig in too deep, but my suspicion is that this may be statistic abuse.  Transit lines often result in an increase of affluent whites in the surrounding areas, and affluent whites are less likely to use transit than the population as a whole, but does it follow that the affluent whites that live in transit-oriented neighborhoods use transit less?

The report is rich with statistics and charts, but I didn’t find any demographic analysis of transit users in transit-oriented neighborhoods.  Maybe after work I’ll read it a little deeper.

One comment on “New transit lowers ridership?

  1. Gentrification is a tricky beast. From an economic development point of view, it’s great! More income = more income taxes! Rising property values = rising property taxes!

    Then again, there’s the whole social justice / democratic perspective. Probably not a good thing to push people out of their neighborhoods.

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