Can Bus Rapid Transit Stimulate Land Development? Evidence from Beijing Southern Axis BRT Line 1



Can Bus Rapid Transit Stimulate Land Development? Evidence from Beijing Southern Axis BRT Line 1

Authors

T Deng, J Nelson, University of Aberdeen, UK

Description

This paper provides first-hand evidence on how the BRT system has stimulated land development around the busway corridor in Beijing, where BRT has been in service for 5 years.

Abstract

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has emerged as a cost-effective transport alternative for satisfying massive travel demands for urban mobility. This rubber-tired system, distinguished by dedicated busway and state-of-the-art technologies, has increasingly gained popularity throughout the world. Many cities recently have launched ambitious programmes of BRT system implementation with varying success. There are a growing number of studies on its development effects, however, as a relatively new form of Mass Transit, its ability to stimulate land development remains largely unexplored. Understanding whether capitalization effect occurs conferred by BRT investment, and when and where these effects happen, are becoming increasingly important, as land value uplift could be part of strategies contributing to BRT project funds.

This paper intends to analyze the impact of BRT on land use and land value change. It starts with an international review of literature, discusses the current issues and debates relating to the land development impact resulting from BRT, and then analyzes the technical performance of the Beijing Southern Axis BRT Line 1, the first BRT system in China. This rubber-tyred transit system, has achieved almost 40% travel time reduction and high ridership (up to 260,000 passengers daily in a single corridor), with only 1/15 capital cost of a Metro line.

This paper provides first-hand empirical evidence on how the BRT system has stimulated land development around the busway corridor in Beijing, where BRT has been in service for 5 years. The study makes use of qualitative (professional interview) and quantitative analysis (longitudinal analysis) to investigate residential property value uplift and land use around BRT stations. Using before and after data on residential property prices, we examine the change in price of residential properties near BRT stations from 2003 to 2009. We compare the appartments proximity to the busway corridor (located within a 500-metre radius of the BRT stations) and with a control area.

The research finds that a high-quality BRT system can offer accessibility advantage (specifically travel time savings) to adjacent properties, and thus increase their attractiveness. Interviews with stakeholders, including government officials, developers and real estate agents, and longitudinal analysis reveal that BRT line 1 has positive development effects on adjacent properties, reflected by higher property values and accelerated land development. The results suggest that the housing near BRT stations enjoy a value premium, and development interest has been stimulated by the BRT opening. The findings also provide evidence that accessibility enhancement, rather than the type of transit system, is a far more important reason to influence land development.

Publisher

Association for European Transport