Well Planned Bus Routes Can Help Improve Poverty
[Updated January 15, 2018] Affordable housing projects might not be the best way to improve concentrated poverty. In fact, "[n]ew research suggests that a more effective approach to changing the geography of poverty requires the expansion of effective public transportation systems," according to an article by Andrew Miller.
The study, published in the Regional Science and Urban Economics journal, finds evidence that, for transit-dependent commuters, the affordability of a neighborhood can depend on proximity to transit stops. The study analyzes tract-level U.S. census data in the Atlanta metropolitan area from 1970 to 2010. According to Miller, "the authors found that the presence of a public bus route in Atlanta’s suburban census tracts is associated with a 2.32 percent increase in the poverty rate on average, compared to census tracts without bus routes."
The study also established a causal relationship between bus routes and poverty, and expands similar findings from previous studies to suburban settings.