This research examines the association that intercity passenger rails have with population and employment growth at the county level in the continental United States from 2000 to 2010. This research adopts an integrated spatial regression approach that incorporates both spatial lag and spatial error dependence. The data come from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Land Developability Index, and the National Atlas of the United States. Population change and employment change are regressed on intercity passenger rails, controlling for 14 socioeconomic variables. Intercity passenger rails are measured by the number of intercity passenger rail terminals in each county. The results suggest that the associations that intercity passenger rails have with population and employment change are both direct and indirect. Intercity passenger rails have a negative and direct association with population and employment change from 2000 to 2010. The Great Recession during this period may have compelled people to move out of their home county in search of jobs; having intercity passenger rails facilitated this process. The results also indicate that intercity passenger rails have a positive and indirect association with population and employment change. Population change and employment change in one county affect population and employment in adjacent counties. This indirect association shows the spatial spillover effect of population and employment growth through passenger rails. The indirect association does not come from within the county; rather, it is a disperse effect from neighbors. This research suggests that intercity passenger rails, although built long ago, still play an important role in facilitating the spread of change and the integration of local communities into a larger regional economy.
|Journal of Urban Planning and Development
|Published - Dec 1 2018
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies