The extension of public transportation can have some adverse affects when not implemented carefully, according to a new report by Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, including raising rents and attracting wealthier residents.

The researchers found that new public transit investments can lead to gentrification that prices out lower-income residents. The report urges planners and policymakers to “consider the unintended consequences of neighborhood gentrification when expanding or improving public transit, given the risk that transit investment can cause undesirable neighborhood change.”

"Transit planners frequently speak of the need for transit-oriented development to support ridership, but what transit stations need is transit-oriented neighbors who will regularly use the system," said Stephanie Pollack, the report's lead author and associate director of the Dukakis Center.

The authors advise that policymakers use coordinated and community-responsive planning tools and design policies that attract core and potential transit users to newly  transit-rich neighborhoods. To moderate increases in rents, housing policies should include funding for land and property acquisition, preservation of existing affordable housing, and creation of new affordable housing.

In conjunction with the release of the report, the Dukakis Center launched a web-based Policy Toolkit for Equitable Transit-Rich Neighborhoods. Download the full report here. [http://www.northeastern.edu/dukakiscenter/documents/TRN_Equity_final.pdf]