Impacts of light rail in a mid-sized city: Evidence from Olsztyn, Poland
Keywords:light rail transit, sustainable urban transport, travel behaviour, housing prices, Olsztyn
Investments in light rail transit (LRT) have become increasingly popular solutions to promote sustainable urban transportation. However, their impacts on cities are still subject to discussion in the academic community. There is a clear need to better understand the potential impacts of LRT projects, particularly in contexts other than major cities. In this study, we focus on the Olsztyn tram project, which has been implemented in a city of 173,000 residents situated in northeastern Poland. The paper combines different perspectives and data sources, including a study of residents’ stated preferences concerning travel behavior and modelling of housing price effects using the difference-in-differences approach. Our results suggest that the Olsztyn tram project led to a moderate change in travel behavior by increasing the frequency of public transport use but did not result in a substantial shift away from car commuting. Concerning the property market, a decline in prices was observed during the construction phase, but no statistically significant effects were found after completion.
Alpkokin, P., Topuz Kiremitci, S., Black, J. A., & Cetinavci, S. (2016). LRT and street tram policies and implementation in Turkish cities. Journal of Transport Geography, 54, 476–487. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.10.004
Anselin, L., Bera, A. K., Florax, R., & Yoon, M. J. (1996). Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 26(1), 77–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/0166-0462(95)02111-6
Athey, S., & Imbens, G. W. (2006). Identification and inference in nonlinear difference-in-differences models. Econometrica, 74(2), 431–497. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2006.00668.x
Babalik-Sutcliffe, E. (2002). Urban rail systems: Analysis of the factors behind success. Transport Reviews, 22(4), 415–447. https://doi.org/10.1080/01441640210124875
Banister, D. (2008). The sustainable mobility paradigm. Transport Policy, 15(2), 73–80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2007.10.005
Bertrand, M., Duflo, E., & Mullainathan, S. (2004). How much should we trust differences-in-differences estimates? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(1), 249–275. https://doi.org/10.1162/003355304772839588
Bunschoten, T., Molin, E., van Nes, R. (2013). Tram or bus? Does the tram bonus exist? Paper presented at the European Transport Conference, Frankfurt, Germany.
Cao, J., & Ermagun, A. (2017). Influences of LRT on travel behavior: A retrospective study on movers in Minneapolis. Urban Studies, 54(11), 2504–2520. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098016651569
Cao, X., & Schoner, J. (2014). The influence of light rail transit on transit use: An exploration of station area residents along the Hiawatha line in Minneapolis. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 59, 134–143. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2013.11.001
Cao, X., Mokhtarian, P. L., & Handy, S. L. (2009). Examining the Impacts of residential self‐relection on travel behavior: A focus on empirical findings. Transport Reviews, 29(3), 359–395. https://doi.org/10.1080/01441640802539195
Cervero, R., & Landis, J. (1997). Twenty years of the Bay Area rapid transit system: Land use and development impacts. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 31(4), 309–333. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0965-8564(96)00027-4
Crocker, S., Dabinett, G., Gore, T., Haywood, R., Hennebury, J., Herrington, A., … & Townroe, P. (2000). Monitoring the economic and development impact of South Yorkshire supertram. Sheffield, England: Center for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University.
Dueker, K. J., & Bianco, M. J. (1999). Light-rail-transit Impacts in Portland: The first ten years. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 1685(1), 171–180. https://doi.org/10.3141/1685-22
Dubé, J., Legros, D., & Devaux, N. (2018). From bus to tramway: Is there an economic impact of substituting a rapid mass transit system? An empirical investigation accounting for anticipation effect. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 110, 73–87. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2018.02.007
Dubé, J., Legros, D., Thériault, M., & Des Rosiers, F. (2014). A spatial difference-in-differences estimator to evaluate the effect of change in public mass transit systems on house prices. Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, 64, 24–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trb.2014.02.007
Engebretsen, Ø., Christiansen, P., & Strand, A. (2017). Bergen light rail – Effects on travel behaviour. Journal of Transport Geography, 62, 111–121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2017.05.013
Eurostat. (2018). Passenger cars in the EU. Retrieved from https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Passenger_cars_in_the_EU
Forouhar, A., & Hasankhani, M. (2018). The effect of Tehran metro rail system on residential property values: A comparative analysis between high-income and low-income neighborhoods. Urban Studies, 55(16), 3503–3524. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098017753089
Gadziński, J., & Radzimski, A. (2016). The first rapid tram line in Poland: How has it affected travel behaviors, housing choices and satisfaction, and apartment prices? Journal of Transport Geography, 54, 451–463. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.11.001
Grengs, J. (2005). The abandoned social goals of public transit in the neoliberal city of the USA. City, 9(1), 51–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/13604810500050161
Guerra, E., Cervero, R., & Tischler, D. (2012). Half-mile circle: Does it best represent transit station catchments? Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2276(1), 101–109. https://doi.org/10.3141/2276-12
Hass-Klau, C., Crampton, G. R., & Benjari, R. (2004). Economic impacts of light rail: The results for 15 urban areas in France, Germany, UK and North America. Brighton, UK: Environmental and Transport Planning.
Hess, D. B., & Almeida, T. M. (2007). Impact of proximity to light rail rapid transit on station-area property values in Buffalo, New York. Urban Studies, 44(5–6), 1041–1068. https://doi.org/10.1080/00420980701256005
Higgins, C. D., & Kanaroglou, P. S. (2016). Forty years of modelling rapid transit’s land value uplift in North America: Moving beyond the tip of the iceberg. Transport Reviews, 36(5), 610–634. https://doi.org/10.1080/01441647.2016.1174748
Hong, A., Boarnet, M. G., & Houston, D. (2016). New light rail transit and active travel: A longitudinal study. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 92, 131–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2016.07.005
Integrated program of public transport development. (2004). Olsztyn, Poland: City Hall.
Klinger, T., Kenworthy, J. R., & Lanzendorf, M. (2013). Dimensions of urban mobility cultures – A comparison of German cities. Journal of Transport Geography, 31, 18–29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2013.05.002
Knowles, R. D. (1996). Transport impacts of greater Manchester’s metrolink light rail system. Journal of Transport Geography, 4(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/0966-6923(95)00034-8
Knowles, R., D. & Ferbrache, F. (2016). Evaluation of wider economic impacts of light rail investment on cities. Journal of Transport Geography, 54, 430–439. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.09.002
Kołoś, A., & Taczanowski, J. (2016). The feasibility of introducing light rail systems in medium-sized towns in Central Europe. Journal of Transport Geography, 54, 400–413. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2016.02.006
Komornicki, T. (2003). Factors of development of car ownership in Poland. Transport Reviews, 23(4), 413–431. https://doi.org/10.1080/0144164022000026936
Lee, S. S., & Senior, M. L. (2013). Do light rail services discourage car ownership and use? Evidence from census data for four English cities. Journal of Transport Geography, 29, 11–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.12.002
Light Rail Transit Association. (2019). World systems list. Retrieved from http://www.lrta.org/world/worldind.html
Mackett, R., & Babalik Sutcliffe, E. (2003). New urban rail systems: A policy-based technique to make them more successful. Journal of Transport Geography, 11(2), 151–164. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0966-6923(03)00003-6
Mills, G. (2001). New tramways in France: The case of Montpellier. Transport Reviews, 21(3), 337–352. https://doi.org/10.1080/01441640117122
Newman, P., Kenworthy, J., & Glazebrook, G. (2013). Peak car use and the rise of global rail: Why this is happening and what it means for large and small cities. Journal of Transportation Technologies, 3(4), 272–287. https://doi.org/10.4236/jtts.2013.34029
Paget-Seekins, L. (2015). Bus rapid transit as a neoliberal contradiction. Journal of Transport Geography, 48, 115–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2015.08.015
Plan mobilności Miejskiego Obszaru Funkcjonalnego Olsztyna. (2017). Olsztyn: City Hall.
Pojani, E., Van Acker, V., & Pojani, D. (2018). Cars as a status symbol: Youth attitudes toward sustainable transport in a post-socialist city. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behavior, 58, 210–227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trf.2018.06.003
Pucher, J. (1995). The road to ruin? Impacts of economic shock therapy on urban transport in Poland. Transport Policy, 2(1), 5–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/0967-070X(95)93241-P
Pucher, J., Buehler, R. (2005). Transport policy in post-communist Europe. In K. J. Button, & D. A. Hensher (Eds.), Handbook of transport strategy, policy and institutions, Vol 6 (pp.725–743). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Richer, C., & Hasiak, S. (2014). Territorial opportunities of tram-based systems: A comparative analysis between Nottingham (UK) and Valenciennes (FRA). Town Planning Review, 85(2), 217–236. https://doi.org/10.3828/tpr.2014.14
Rodríguez, D. A., & Mojica, C. H. (2009). Capitalization of BRT network expansions effects into prices of non-expansion areas. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 43(5), 560–571. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2009.02.003
Spears, S., Boarnet, M. G., & Houston, D. (2017). Driving reduction after the introduction of light rail transit: Evidence from an experimental-control group evaluation of the Los Angeles Expo Line. Urban Studies, 54(12), 2780–2799. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098016657261
Tammaru, T. (2005). Suburbanization, employment change, and commuting in the Tallinn metropolitan area. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 37(9), 1669–1687. https://doi.org/10.1068/a37118
Trojanek, R., & Głuszak, M. (2018). Spatial and time effect of subway on property prices. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 33(2), 359–384. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-017-9569-y
UN-Habitat (2013). Planning and design for sustainable urban mobility: Policy directions. Global report on human settlements. Nairobi: UN-Habitat.
Yen, B. T. H., Mulley, C., Shearer, H., & Burke, M. (2018). Announcement, construction or delivery: When does value uplift occur for residential properties? Evidence from the Gold Coast Light Rail system in Australia. Land Use Policy, 73, 412–422. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.02.007
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Adam Radzimski, Jedrzej Gadzinski
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with JTLU agree to the following terms: 1) Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License 4.0 that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. 2) Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. 3) Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.