• Selected Outcomes of Housing Assistance
  • Volume 20, Number 1
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
 

Can a Car-Centric City Become Transit Oriented? Evidence From Los Angeles

Jenny Schuetz
Brookings Institution

Genevieve Giuliano
University of Southern California

Eun Jin Shin
Yale-NUS College


The urban built environment develops over decades around fixed infrastructure. Los Angeles began its major growth at the dawn of the automobile era and became a low-density, dispersed metropolis organized around a vast freeway system. Since the 1990s, local governments have sought to restructure Los Angeles, shifting toward higher density, mixed-use housing and commercial development. A large investment in new rail transit lines is seen as critical to achieving these land use goals, mainly through promotion of transit-oriented development. In this article, we examine how employment patterns have changed around newly built Los Angeles rail stations. Results suggest that employment did not increase near stations immediately before or after station opening, but a few stations saw increased employment 5 to 10 years after opening.


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