Mineta National Transit Research Consortium

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Are new firms more likely to form near rail transit stations? That question is addressed in a new peer-reviewed research report just published by the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium. Two cities were compared – Portland OR and Dallas TX – because each one had relatively new light-rail systems. The report, Transit Access and the Agglomeration of New Firms: A Case Study of Portland and Dallas, found that new firms did cluster around transit stations in Portland but less so in Dallas, likely because of different planning and zoning criteria. Authors are Robert Noland, PhD; Daniel Chatman, PhD; and Nicholas Klein, PhD.

“As many cities develop or expand their transit systems, a major impetus is to spur regional economic development,” said Dr. Noland. “Rail transit is particularly promoted as a source of that growth and development. One recently-evaluated mechanism is how and whether transit causes or intensifies agglomerations of employment and population in cities. A related question is whether policies to encourage transit-oriented development may also lead to agglomeration economies by intensifying the density of firms and employment within station areas.” Read more