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Economic and demographic impacts of passenger rail systems : the impact of intercity passenger rails on population and employment change in the United States, 2000-2010.
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    This research examines the impact of intercity passenger rails on change in population and employment 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 U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the National Land Developability Index, and the National Atlas of the United States. Population 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 impacts of intercity passenger rails on population and employment change are both direct and indirect. Intercity passenger rails have a negative and direct effect on population and employment change from 2000 to 2010. Intercity passenger rails facilitate moving residents and workers out of the county. The economic recession during this period may have compelled people to move out of their home county in search of jobs. Having intercity passenger rails helped this process. The results also indicate that intercity passenger rails have a positive and indirect effect on population and employment change. Population and employment change in one county influences those in the adjacent counties. This indirect effect does not come from within the county; rather, it is a spread effect from its neighbors. This research suggests that intercity passenger rails play an important role in facilitating the spread of change and the integration of local communities into a larger regional economy. Keywords: Passenger rail, transportation, population change, employment change, spatial econometrics
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