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Study: BRT Lines Offer Significant Real Estate and Jobs Benefits

The real estate market has been transformed in cites that added bus rapid transit in the past decade, according to a new study presented this week at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.
January 14, 2016, 6am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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According to Angie Schmitt, "a new study [PDF] by Arthur C. Nelson of the University of Arizona and released by Transportation for America finds that BRT lines can indeed shape real estate and attract jobs…" The big caveat of the study's findings: those benefits are possible "if the projects are done right."

The study "found that in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and other cities with high-quality BRT lines, real estate near the routes tends to be valued at a premium and is capturing an increasing share of development," reports Schmitt.

Schmitt also provides a dispatch from Nelson's presentation at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting earlier this week. There, Nelson described the effect of BRT on development and real estate as transformational, and likely to continue provide benefits in the future.

The catch, however, is that merely rebranding a bus route as BRT isn't enough: "to reap the benefits of BRT investment, Nelson says cities must ensure the systems are designed and operated at a high standard….In addition to high frequencies, BRT routes that affect development have features like dedicated lanes, level boarding, off-board fare collection, and signal priority for buses at intersections…"

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Published on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 in Streetsblog USA
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