Spatial Effects of Urban Rail Upgrades

Published: 2013

Authors: Chris Young, Arthur Grimes

We examine spatial impacts of major upgrades to an existing urban passenger rail service. The upgrades, to Auckland's Western Line, were announced in 2005. Anticipated benefits of upgrades should be factored into people's location and pricing decisions following announcement.

Using a difference-in-difference regression approach coupled with a repeat-sales methodology, we test the hypotheses that house prices appreciated following the announcement and that the degree of appreciation reflected proximity to rail stations. We also test whether a specific transport-related urban redevelopment affected house price appreciation.

We find statistically significant rises in values of houses located near stations upon announcement of the upgrades, with spatially non-linear effects reflecting both positive and negative amenity impacts.

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Grimes, Arthur, and Chris Young. 2013. "Spatial Effects of Urban Rail Upgrades", Journal of Transport Geography 30, pp. 1-6