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Abstract

Public transportation affects crime rates in neighborhoods surrounding its implementation. It can give criminals easier access to potential targets and decrease the probability of getting caught, or it can give lower-income individuals better access to reliable transportation, which decreases the probability of those individuals getting involved in criminal activity. This paper analyzes available criminal data, property data, and public assistance data for the City of Cleveland to study the effects on property crime rate after the 2008 implementation of a public bus line. The paper's hypothesis is that there is a difference in the mean crime rate before and after the bus implementation, to be tested with a t-test. Using fixed-effects and pooled OLS models, the findings were that the bus caused an increase in the mean property crime rate in the census tracts touching that line by about 1.4%. This provides evidence that public transportation does in fact increase crime rates in areas surrounding it. Given that the nature of this study is only to observe the effects in the short run, a possible extension and follow-up study would be to revisit this issue when more years of crime rate data are available of the tracts use.

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