If You Build It, They Will Ride - Even in Car Crazy Los Angeles

A new study finds that within six months of opening, L.A.'s newest light rail line dramatically altered the travel behavior of those living within a half-mile of a station. Among those residents, rail ridership tripled and driving declined 40%.
December 16, 2013, 12pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The findings of "the first experimental study of the effects of a new rail line in Los Angeles" makes a persuasive case for the positive impacts of new rail options on Angelenos' travel habits. 

"In fall 2011, researchers asked more than 200 households in the Exposition Corridor, the Crenshaw Corridor and Harvard Park to track their travel habits and odometer readings for seven days. The same households repeated the exercise in 2012, when the Expo Line had been open for about six months," explains Laura J. Nelson. "Households within a half-mile of an Expo Line station reduced their driving by 10 to 12 miles a day, compared with those who lived farther away, according to the data."

Other positive outcomes generated by the new line include a 30% reduction carbon emissions and an increase in exercise among residents. 

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Published on Monday, December 16, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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