Can light rail expand without displacing low-income residents?
When light rail came to Rainier Valley in 2009, change followed. Residents had a new, faster way to get to the airport or downtown and, later, to the University District. The benefits of this new service, though, have not been felt by all residents living in the valley when the stations opened. As transit-oriented development unfolded, tall buildings began to rise. So did the cost of living. The increase in property values and rental costs can be attributed to a number of factors, but some studies have linked light rail development to displacement. As light rail expands throughout the region, an effort is now being made to assure that low-income residents can enjoy the ride into a more transit-friendly future. But will it work?