Housing policy and poverty in Springfield
This essay considers whether housing policies may have contributed to the concentration of poverty in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts ? a question that emerged in conversations with local leaders. Springfield is not alone in having large numbers of lower income households living downtown. This pattern is common in American cities. Recent research emphasizes the role of public transportation in causing lower income households to live closer to downtown. However, spillover effects and government policies, including housing policies, have reinforced this tendency. The essay reviews federal ...
Should transportation spending be included in a stimulus program? a review of the literature
Transportation spending often plays a prominent role in government efforts to stimulate the economy during downturns. Yet, despite the frequent use of transportation spending as a form of fiscal stimulus, there is little known about its short- or medium-run effectiveness. Does it translate quickly into higher employment and economic activity or does it impact the economy only slowly over time? This paper reviews the empirical findings in the literature for the United States and other developed economies and compares the effects of transportation spending to those of other types of government ...
The electronification of transit fare payments: a look at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's New Payment Technologies Project
Over the past decade many of the nation's largest public transit providers have gone from fare-payment systems based on cash and coin to more modern electronic systems that implement payment cards, including agency-issued prepaid cards, credit cards, and debit cards. On September 16, 2008, the Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia hosted a workshop to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) as it attempts to redesign its transit-fare payment system to accept payment cards. Jerry Kane, manager of ...
Transportation and development: insights from the U.S., 1840-1860
We study the effects of large transportation costs on economic development. We argue that the Midwest and the Northeast of the U.S. is a natural case because starting from 1840 decent data is available showing that the two regions shared key characteristics with today?s developing countries and that transportation costs were large and then came way down. To disentangle the effects of the large reduction in transportation costs from those of other changes that happened during 1840?1860, we build a model that speaks to the distribution of people across regions and across the sectors of ...
Mass transit subsidies: are there better options?
Competition at work : railroads vs. monopoly in the U.S. shipping industry
This study primarily establishes two things: (1) that monopoly has been pervasive in the U.S. water transportation industry in both the 19th and 20th centuries and has led to prices above competitive levels and the adoption of inefficient technologies and (2) that the competition of railroads has greatly weakened this monopolistic tendency, leading to lower water transport prices and fewer inefficient technologies. The study establishes these points using standard economic theory and extensive historical U.S. data on the behavior of unions and shipping companies. These gains from competition ...
Weaving together vibrant communities through transit-oriented development
Transit-oriented development (TOD) is about connecting the fabric of our communities, where various neighborhoods and places are integrated into a vibrant and cohesive region. Implementing equitable TOD involves rethinking the current paradigm, and fostering TOD requires collaboration and coordination among multiple actors. This article defines TOD, introduces the concepts and principles behind the term, and presents strategies for implementing successful TOD initiatives, especially those that benefit LMI individuals and communities.
Maintaining diversity in America's transit-rich neighborhoods: tools for equitable neighborhood change
In some newly transit-rich neighborhoods (TRNs), a new station can set in motion a cycle of unintended consequences in which core transit users?such as renters and low-income households?are priced out of the neighborhood in favor of higher-income, car-owning residents who are less likely to use public transit. The authors describe these patterns and present policy tools for shaping equitable neighborhood change.
Paying at the pump : war, winter, and unrest spike gas prices