I just returned from a transit conference in Hollywood called Rail-Volution where I heard again and again to economic benefits of transit projects. So, I wanted to write a post looking into this idea and link to a few good articles.
I first want to thank the organizers of the conference who gave me a scholarship to attend. I wouldn’t have been able to go w/o their support.
For some time now, many folks have talked about the safety benefits of transit, bike and pedestrian projects. How they calm traffic, make it safer to walk and cycle, and more. Now much of the discussion has moved to the amount of investment, increases in business, and rising land value that follows major transit projects.
An recent article in the New York Times does a good job of explaining the connection between transit and business.
Cleveland built at very successful BRT line along the old Euclid corridor that connects downtown with University Circle which had a large hospital campus. Since opening 2008 $3.4 Billion in economic development along the corridor since the project has been built. Amazing! I’ve heard, but couldn’t confirm that the Healthline has already exceeded 20-year ridership projections. The point of my mentioning these projects is the Transit expansion often is followed by investment and in the case of Cleveland, huge amounts of money.
San Jose VTA has proposed the build a BRT line down Steven’s Creek road. This would connect downtown San Jose with De Anza College. VTA wants to build a much longer BRT all the way down El Camino Real. This has run into problems recently. I will write more more on this later.