All too often when we think of 'transportation,' especially transit, our thoughts are overtaken by visions of public transit. Yet, private transit also plays a key role.
Drive around nearly any town, from the largest city, to the smallest 'burb, and you'll see the shuttle buses, often emblazoned with company logos. However visible, these forms of transit are often overlooked as important pieces of an area's transportation network. Sarah Jo Peterson, of Urban Land Magazine writes, "[t]he data providers who track transit service often do not recognize that these privately provided services even exist, but once one starts looking for such "hidden transit," it begins to appear across the country, in urban, suburban, and rural locations. And it is helping people get access to jobs, personal services, and shopping."
These private forms of transit commonly serve campuses and large facilities, such as universities, hospitals, and senior living homes. But, over the last few decades, "hidden" transit has expanded into suburban office parks, as well, in an effort to disincentivize single-person automobile travel between home and work. With efforts to achieve greater sustainability, as well as an aging populace, private transit may take on an even greater role in the nation's transportation networks in the future.
"Implementing a private transit service can help a company achieve many goals," says Peterson, "including minimizing the need for parking, attracting talent, keeping suburban locations competitive, and achieving environmental sustainability targets."
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Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
City of Birmingham, Alabama
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
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