Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

William Lincoln

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© 2019 Matthew Psaltakis


Historically, public transportation has served several key purposes. Among them is the need to provide accessible transportation for all persons in an area to increase commercial and social connectivity. However, the effectiveness of public transit in accomplishing this goal is relatively unstudied. I use U.S. Census data and a proprietary dataset matching each neighborhood of Los Angeles County with its nearest public transportation option to estimate median household incomes based on proximity to rails-based public transportation in 2000, 2010, and 2017. Using a fixed effects regression, I find that, in Los Angeles County neighborhoods more than 5 miles from the city’s central business district (CBD), being closer to a rails-based public transportation station is linked with higher median income levels. The magnitude of this effect is more pronounced as a neighborhood gets further from the CBD.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.