Economic Impact of Light Rail

The Results of 15 Urban Areas in France, Germany, UK and North America
International Best Practice on Public Transport

After the international success of Bus or Light Rail: Making the Right Choice (2000) with a second edition in 2003, and Future of Urban Transport – Learning from Success and Weakness: Light Rail (2002) comes this third volume in the ETP public transport series. The question tackled is the effect of trams and light rail on the economic success of cities. 15 cities in France, Germany, UK and Canada are studied and detailed lessons drawn covering developments since the late 1970s. Results are given for:

  • Effects on residential property prices, office rents and retailing
  • Numbers of shoppers in city centres
  • Car ownership
  • Retail structure and competition between city centres and sub-centres
  • Parking requirements
  • Changes in building and development patterns

There are strong policy conditions for success – especially three policy instruments must be harmonised: support for market forces; strong use of land use planning; and combined public, internal and private funding. If the right conditions and alignments are lacking, economic development will not occur.

Contains 196 pages, 28 tables, 81 figures including maps.


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