Monday, January 15, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Commuter Rail’s Benefits Questioned

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A contrarian view of the environmental, traffic urban-sprawl benefits of commuter rail was published in the Boston Globe‘s magazine section at the end of last year. Key graf:

One would think, for instance, that new commuter-rail stations might encourage development nearby. It turns out they don’t. Areas around train stations are only modestly more developed than anywhere else. One would also think that new stations might encourage more use of public transit. That is also untrue. The number of people using transit to get to work is largely unchanged by the addition of new stations.

One problem the author points out: employment is less centralized than it used to be, but mass transit invariably goes downtown. Via WorldChanging; see also Planetizen.

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