SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- Planning community development with public transportation as a central consideration, transit-oriented development or TOD, can spur economic growth, sometimes dramatically, according to a new report, titled How Transit-Oriented Development Can Help Get America to Work.
The report from Morgan Stanley says that Arlington, Va., and the Ballston-Rosslyn transit corridor are examples of how transit can bring economic growth.
Forty years ago, the Ballston-Rosslyn transit corridor was a waning commercial area suffering from disinvestment and population decline. To revitalize the area, local government worked with the public transportation system to ensure the Metro Orange Line was integrated into investment plans for the county’s commercial center. They devised a redevelopment initiative around five closely spaced metro stations, concentrating density and promoting mixed-use development.
The economic outcomes have been stunning. The Ballston-Rosslyn corridor has prospered, creating about 50,000 new jobs and more than doubling the population. Property values rose $1 billion within a year of opening the Metro stations. Commercial and office space tripled; dining, shopping, and recreation options proliferated; and most housing values near the Metro station stops have increased.
Since 50 percent of residents now take transit to work and 73 percent of transit riders can walk to metro stations, the economic boom has generated only a modest increase in traffic pollution and the area’s carbon footprint. Density also brings fiscal benefits: less than 10 percent of Arlington County land generates one-third of County revenues, giving Arlington the lowest property tax rates in Northern Virginia.