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A C-TRAN Vine vehicle sits next to a station on Fort Vancouver Way at Air Force Ave between Clark College and the VA. Passengers stand at the station. Large, green trees line the street.

The Vine is a valuable resource to our passengers, but a recent research paper shows that its value reaches even farther than getting riders from point A to point B. "The effect of bus rapid transit on local home prices" by economic researchers Justin Beaudoin and Justin Tyndall examines the impact of bus rapid transit (BRT) on the housing market. Beaudoin belongs to the Department of Economics at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, while Tyndall is part of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization and Department of Economics in Honolulu. Together, they examine the impact of BRT as an amenity to properties near bus rapid transit lines.

The two picked Vancouver's original BRT as their main case study. The result: The Vine produced a positive, measurable economic impact on the surrounding corridor. BRT lines in other cities have also seen similar positive effects.

When C-TRAN opened The Vine on Fourth Plain seven years ago, we were the first agency in the region to introduce BRT to our system. This decision paid dividends service-wise thanks to the advantages that BRT offers over regular fixed-route service. Firstly, our BRT lines provide more frequent service, running as often as every 10 minutes during peak service times. Sixty-foot articulated buses run on these lines, meaning we can transport more passengers per trip. In addition, BRT service offers faster travel times, improved stations, traffic signal priority, and level boarding platforms.

After The Vine on Fourth Plain launched in 2017, ridership along the corridor skyrocketed by 45% within the first year, simultaneously lowering travel times and operating costs. Since then, over 2,000 housing units have been added within a half-mile of Fourth Plain, totaling roughly $250 million in development value. Following the success of our first BRT line, C-TRAN opened The Vine on Mill Plain in October and is in the process of planning the third and fourth BRT lines, The Vine on Highway 99 and The Vine on Fourth Plain Extension, both of which are expected to open in 2027.

Beaudoin and Tyndall's research looks at more than just the value of BRT's more efficient service; instead, it draws a correlation between proximity to BRT lines and property values. The study only includes sales of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums over $50,000 in value; commercial and rental properties were not included in the study due to a lack of data access. In total, 70,000 properties were analyzed. The study concluded that BRT proximity positively affects local property values, resulting in a 5-7% price premium for local access to a BRT station. Other cities studied, including Brisbane, Quebec City, and Bogota, saw even larger price premiums.

Overall, the study showed that BRT impacted residential property value substantially, estimating it to exceed the construction costs of implementing the new service six times over. Beaudoin and Tyndall also suggest that real estate developers may see the investment in infrastructure like BRT as a sign to increase development near stations in anticipation of increased housing demand. In other words, access to transit creates added value, and added opportunity.

As Clark County continues to grow and change, C-TRAN will grow with it. Quality transit benefits the entire community, not just the people on the bus.

Thursday, October 19, 2023
After much anticipation, The Vine on Mill Plain is finally here. Countless hours of planning and construction were put in by multiple contractors and C-TRAN staff. Construction crews worked along...
Thursday, July 13, 2023
Chris Tyler, C-VAN operator, and Perise Tyler, fixed-route operator, in front of the C-TRAN administration building. It’s fairly common for companies to refer to their employees as a family; in...

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