Blog Archives

New light-rail transit leads to sizable increase in nearby housing values

A house for sale near the Green Line light rail Light-rail transit (LRT) is commonly thought to stimulate economic development and boost property values. However, knowledge gaps have made it difficult to gauge exactly how much property values increase and when the increase happens.

In a new study, U of M researchers Jason Cao and Shengnan Lou help fill those gaps. Using tax parcel data and modeling techniques, they assessed the impacts of the Green Line LRT on sale prices of single-family houses near station areas in Saint Paul. They also examined when the value uplift occurred, focusing on two key time points—before and after the Federal Transit Administration’s announcement of the full funding grant agreement (FFGA) in April 2011, and before and after the start of Green Line operation in June 2014.

Posted in Economics, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research, Urban transportation

New podcast explores commuting in the Twin Cities

A new 10-episode podcast is exploring what commuting in the Twin Cities is like—and what it could be.

Here to There, developed by Apparatus and Transit for Livable Communities & St. Paul Smart Trips, examines the inextricable link between the ways we commute and the ways we live.

Each episode focuses on a different “destination”—defined not as a place but as a goal for the Twin Cities mobility system. Episode destinations include accessibility, equity, cohesion, and flexibility.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Bicycling, Pedestrian, Planning, Public transit, Travel Behavior, Urban transportation

Research shows Green Line spurred economic activity

35234Researchers at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs have found a definite link between the construction of the Green Line and economic development activity along its route.

In a CTS-funded study, CTS Scholar Jason Cao and researcher Dean Porter-Nelson looked at real estate development plans along the Green Line in the years before it began operating.

They found that as soon as final funding plans came together in 2011, applications for building permits along the Green line increased significantly, compared to permit applications for new construction and remodeling along existing transit routes.

Posted in Economics, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research

Videos on transportation research featured in new online resource collection

Screenshot of CIVIOS home screenLast week, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs launched CIVIOS, a new online collection of videos, podcasts, and other multimedia tools that translate public affairs research into easy-to-understand presentations.

The collection includes three new videos on transportation-related research conducted by CTS scholars Yingling Fan and Greg Lindsey.

Posted in Bicycling, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research

Accessibility Observatory research featured as U of M highlight from 2016

Last week, the Accessibility Observatory was featured on the University of Minnesota Inquiry blog as a highlight from a year of excellence in research in FY2016.

The post highlighted the Observatory’s new National Accessibility Evaluation Pooled-Fund Study, funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and 11 other transportation agencies across the country. As part of the $1.6 million, five-year project, Observatory staff will create a new national accessibility dataset at the Census block level that describes accessibility to jobs for both driving and transit.

Posted in Accessibility (access to destinations), Bicycling, Pedestrian, Planning, Public transit, Transportation research, Urban transportation

Transportation Connections in Brooklyn park

sharedusephoto-300x199Car to Go. Hour Car. Uber. Lyft. Nice Ride. These and other “shared-use mobility” options are making their way into more cities across the country, including RCP’s partner community, Brooklyn Park. As the City prepares for the arrival of light-rail transportation (LRT) service and evaluates options for improving mobility for residents without access to an automobile, it is considering whether—and how—to integrate such services into its transportation planning.

As a suburban community, Brooklyn Park is nowhere near as dense as Minneapolis or St. Paul. This has created challenges for the City in thinking about how to include services like Hour Car or Uber as solutions to current transportation needs. They may not seem like an obvious choice for a suburb, but through robust community engagement efforts, City staff learned that residents were interested in more shared-use mobility alternatives. The City is now considering such options as a larger, targeted investment in transportation.

Posted in Education, Pedestrian, Planning, Public transit, Sharing economy, Transportation research, Urban transportation

Research helps inform transit shelter policy

bus_shelterFor a typical transit user, every minute waiting at a stop feels longer than it actually is. But basic amenities—shelters and benches—at transit stops significantly reduce riders’ perceived waiting times, according to a U of M study.

“Basic amenities are especially important for lines without frequent service,” said Yingling Fan, associate professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, at a fall CTS research seminar. “However, high-amenity stops are often on lines with high-frequency service. Based on our findings, we recommend providing basic amenities at stations and stops as broadly as possible.”

Posted in Public transit, Transportation research, Urban transportation
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