Transit Oriented Development: Does It Reduce Household Expenditures on Transportation?




Zhou, Xin

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This dissertation aims to provide a more complete picture about transit oriented development (TOD) by dealing with two major questions – first, what makes regions more or less likely to encourage the adoption of TOD policy; and second, whether, how and to what extent does TOD influence household expenditures on transportation. The first research question is tested though the discrete event history models, in which a set of key regional characteristics including population density, central-place population, personal income, congestion level, transit service, and political culture that shape the adoption of TOD policy are highlighted. The second research question heavily draws on several rich streams of literature on the built environment and travel behavior. The analysis first focuses on the half-mile radius area around each fixed guideway transit station across the San Francisco Bay Area, using a structural equation modeling approach. Particular emphasis is placed on what TOD characteristics influence average household transportation costs and how important TOD characteristics are relative to other factors. A number of TOD characteristics do increase transportation affordability to varying degrees, though most elasticities are small in magnitude. Meanwhile, some of these TOD characteristics increase housing costs, further indicating the importance of integrating affordable housing goals into the development of TOD. An independent but closely related analysis on the same research question is followed by, though the emphasis has shifted to the household level analysis. The role of TOD as a distinct planning strategy in affecting household transportation costs is specified within a sample selection model’s framework, while controlling for residential self-selection bias. The finding of the moderately positive contribution of TOD to reducing household transportation costs remains the same. The empirical results also shed light on the effective TOD policy-making and implementation.



Transit Oriented Development, Household Transportation Costs, Policy Innovation, Built Environment, Household Housing Costs