Potential for Value Capture to Fund Public Transportation: Evidence from Fremont, CA Warm Springs BART Extension Project’s Impact on the Value of Neighboring Properties

As the San Francisco Bay Area locally and several metropolitan areas across the US seek to provide or expand heavy rail transit, they run across two challenges, primarily: a) how to fund such systems, including providing the local match that is often required to seek federal funding?; and b) how to address community residents’ concerns about such transit systems’ potential negative property value impacts? The proposed research seeks to address both these challenges by using sophisticated econometric modeling techniques to empirically estimate the impact of Bay Area Rapid Transit’s (BART) Warm Springs station on values of a variety of surrounding properties—residential, commercial, and office. This station was constructed as part of the larger Warm Springs BART Extension project that also included a 5.4-mile rail line extension from the Fremont station to the Warm Springs station.

If the proposed study finds that property values have increased or are increasing near the Warm Springs station, the findings would support advocacy efforts to enhance transit service in the San Francisco Bay Area specifically, and nationally broadly. The finding would also address some of the NIMBYs’ concerns related to rail transit’s negative impacts on property values. Furthermore, using the findings of the empirical models, the study would develop several scenarios to demonstrate the proportion of Warm Springs BART Extension Project that could have been funded if the BART- station-led increase in property values was captured using VC mechanism/s such as special assessment districts. Such scenarios would help advocate for the use of VC tools to fund other BART extension projects such as the BART extension from Berryessa to downtown San Jose and onward to Santa Clara and from Dublin/Pleasanton Station to Livermore. 

University: 

Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility
San José State University

Principal Investigator: 

Shishir Mathur, Ph.D.

PI Contact Information: 

Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
210 N. 4th St., 4th Floor
San José, CA 95112
shishir.mathur@sjsu.edu 

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization): 

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology – $68,193.36 

Total Project Cost: 

$68,193.36

Agency ID or Contract Number: 

69A3551747127

Dates: 

October 2017 to February 2019

Project Number: 

1714