Residential Preferences, Transit Accessibility and Social Equity: Insights from the Denver Region

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Transit-oriented development, Transit, Social equity, Affordable housing

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Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science, Computer Science


Our work exploring preferences of Denver metropolitan area households in deciding where to live provides important insights for regions seeking to leverage investments in transit and promote social equity through transit-oriented communities (TOC). Through a choice-based approach, we find evidence of widespread support for characteristics of TOC, with similar preferences for transit- and pedestrian-accessible environments among low-income and more affluent households. However, despite similar preferences, we find that affluent households moved to station areas after the arrival of light rail in much larger proportions than low-income households, pointing to trends consistent with local and national evidence of increased housing prices (and, likely, gentrification) near transit. If these trends continue without additional supplies of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income households in transit-rich neighbourhoods, those who are most likely to benefit from and use transit are likely to face increasing difficulty in realising preferences for TOC.

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