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Studying the Relationship between Transit Systems and Economic Segregation in Three Major MSAs

Authors: Vani Singh*, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Todd Doane, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Luis Martinez, University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Topics: Transportation Geography
Keywords: Transportation, Light-Rail, Charlotte, MSA, Train, GIS, Geography
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual Track 2
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This project examines geographic patterns of income segregation in relation to the opening of transit systems. The spatial distribution of income classes was analyzed across the Metropolitan Statistical Areas of Washington D.C., Minneapolis, MN, and St. Louis, MO using decennial median household income data at the census tract level and coordinate data for transit stations opened between 1970 to 2010. A hot-spot (Getis-Ord Gi*) analysis was conducted on each MSA for each decennial census year and was compared with the opening dates of each station. Through the hot-spot analysis, we are able to visualize and quantify the changes in income segregation through time. Our results demonstrate similar patterns of economic segregation in each MSA. In general, patterns did not have much variance. However, after the opening of the stations, some neighborhoods saw higher-income residents moving away from the station neighborhoods, creating areas of lower-income. Therefore, the new stations seem to be a factor in the change. It is also important to note that spatial correlation does not necessarily imply causation, and that other factors may be playing a role in causing the change.

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