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PNW Explained

Can Light Rail Expand Without Displacing Low-Income Residents?

November 27, 2018

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?


Jen Dev

Jen Dev is a video producer at Crosscut and KCTS 9 focusing on race and immigration issues. She was born in Italy and raised on three continents before finding a second home in Seattle. Prior to Crosscut, Jen worked with nonprofits, news organizations and higher ed institutions including Columbia University, Italian newspaper La Stampa and Google News Lab startup First Draft News. 

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