The Effects of a Modern Rapid-Transit System on Nearby Residents

A Case Study of Bart in the San Francisco Area
  • Mark Baldassare
Part of the Human Behavior and Environment book series (HUBE, volume 5)


During the last 50 years, the United States has increasingly relied on the automobile for local travel. Public transit has been ignored while enormous resources were poured into highway development. With a steady rise in the standard of living, more and more households have been able to afford automobiles. These events have resulted in sprawling land-use patterns outside of older cities and low-density “suburbanlike” environments in newer cities (see Baldassare, 1981). The automobile-oriented metropolitan form is now a permanent part of the landscape. However, more recent circumstances, including the energy crisis (Foley, 1976), have required urban areas to explore alternative modes of transporting people. In this context, serious questions have been raised about the fiscal and social costs of building and operating mass transit systems within the new urban form. These issues are partially addressed by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) impact study, which was conducted in the San Francisco metropolitan region.


Residential Mobility Public Transit Traffic Noise Transit System Residential Environment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Baldassare
    • 1
  1. 1.Sociology Department and Center for the Social SciencesColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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