Base Your Transit Investment Arguments on Agglomeration

Forget reducing congestion and improving the environment; a new paper makes perhaps the strongest argument yet for investing in public transit based on its ability to agglomerate, or cluster people together, raising wages and productivity.

"In a new paper set for publication in Urban Studies, [Daniel] Chatman [of the University of California at Berkeley] and fellow planner Robert Noland of Rutgers University use concrete numbers to make the case that transit produces agglomeration," writes Eric Jaffe. "They report that this hidden economic value of transit could be worth anywhere from $1.5 million to $1.8 billion a year, depending on the size of the city. And the bigger the city, they find, the bigger the agglomeration benefit of expanding transit."

"Simply put, city officials now have a much stronger argument for using taxpayer money to improve their public transportation service," he adds. "If showing that system expansion leads to more riders and less congestion is good, and showing that it reduces pollution and improves public safety is great, then showing in big numbers how much economic growth will occur should be gold."

Full Story: Public Transit Is Worth Way More to a City Than You Think


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95

Create Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.