How does actual sharing fit into the sharing economy? How does actual sharing fit into the sharing economy?
How does actual sharing fit into the sharing economy?
How does actual sharing fit into the sharing economy?
Bikeshare’s future looks great – If cities can address these key challenges Bikeshare’s future looks great – If cities can address these key challenges
Bikeshare's future looks great - If cities can address these key challenges
Bikeshare’s future looks great – If cities can address these key challenges
Through Open Data, Taxis Can Be a Platform for Innovation Through Open Data, Taxis Can Be a Platform for Innovation
Through Open Data, Taxis Can Be a Platform for Innovation
Through Open Data, Taxis Can Be a Platform for Innovation
Uber’s plan for self-driving cars bigger than its taxi disruption Uber’s plan for self-driving cars bigger than its taxi disruption
Uber’s plan for self-driving cars bigger than its taxi disruption
Uber’s plan for self-driving cars bigger than its taxi disruption
New App Connects Coworkers to Ride Together New App Connects Coworkers to Ride Together
New App Connects Coworkers to Ride Together
New App Connects Coworkers to Ride Together
Should Uber Get Special Treatment? A Look at Sharing-Economy Rules Should Uber Get Special Treatment? A Look at Sharing-Economy Rules
Should Uber Get Special Treatment? A Look at Sharing-Economy Rules
Should Uber Get Special Treatment? A Look at Sharing-Economy Rules

How does transportation affect economic development?

People want to have the option to walk, bike, or take transit to work, and businesses, employers and developers have taken notice. Cities and communities in which it is easier for workers and residents to get around in ways other than by car for most of their daily needs are drawing more investments in terms of economic growth and jobs.

Additionally, studies are increasingly finding that lower rates of driving means more money stays in the local economy, as opposed to being siphoned away by the cost of gasoline. Bicyclists, for example, generally spend more money more frequently at local businesses than drivers do.

Thus, businesses and economic development agencies are often on the forefront of advocacy for better transportation options. Smarter decisions when it comes to getting around will pay off down the road when it comes to attracting a talented workforce and fostering a stronger local economy.

Popular Economics Stories

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To fill empty offices, Arlington must focus on transportation options

Resting on the status quo of existing transportation options is no longer a winning strategy for places that want to attract new businesses.

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Affordable housing and transit should go hand-in-hand

Familes in affordable housing are the ones most likely to benefit from public transit

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If “shopping small” can help local economies, why not “driving small?”

Thinking about reducing miles driven, and the external benefits of switching modes, could be another way to support local communities.

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Recent Economic News

Transportation connectivity as a tool for public health in rural communities

Transportation connectivity as a tool for public health in rural communities


January 6, 2017    Andrew Carpenter

This Saturday’s TransportationCamp DC 2017 will feature a broad array of topics. Esther Dyson, executive founder of Way to Wellville, author, and angel investor, will appear in a session about creating more connected cities. Access is an important factor in community health, and a well-connected transportation network plays a vital role in enabling that. Small,… Read more »

12 ways developers can guide tenants to better transportation decisions

12 ways developers can guide tenants to better transportation decisions


December 16, 2016    Paul Mackie

Real-estate developers and property managers have long been coming around to the simple business decision that, if they want to manage profitable projects and attract tenants, they should build and own near transit and other non-driving options. Just look at Detroit: A 2.5-mile streetcar system expected to launch in a few months to downtown is… Read more »

Virginia’s new Capital Trail has brought biking, business to Richmond and historic communities

Virginia’s new Capital Trail has brought biking, business to Richmond and historic communities


December 6, 2016    Gabriel Morey

Stretching between Richmond and Jamestown, the Virginia Capital Trail is a powerful example of how bike and pedestrian infrastructure can encourage economic growth and sustainable living in diverse communities. The 55-mile paved, multi-use path dances along historic Route 5, connecting small towns, bucolic farmland, historic sites, and high-rise apartments. First proposed in the 1990’s, groundwork… Read more »

Annual bikeshare conference brings focus to equity, integration, and growth

Annual bikeshare conference brings focus to equity, integration, and growth


November 17, 2016    Adam Russell

Last week, the North American Bike Share Association brought together bikeshare systems from across the continent to Austin, Texas, for its third annual conference. BikeArlington program manager Henry Dunbar, who manages Capital Bikeshare in Arlington County, Va., attended the conference, and reports back that three major themes dominated the presentations. A growing mode Though NABSA… Read more »

How does actual sharing fit into the sharing economy?

How does actual sharing fit into the sharing economy?


October 18, 2016    Paul Mackie

It’s safe to say that, in 2016, the sharing economy has gone mainstream. What’s funny about this is that what most people are referring to when we talk about this segment of the economy has little to do with sharing. I was thinking about this while I rode my hotel’s “shared bicycle” ($22 for four hours)… Read more »

After 60 years, chances to overcome the interstate system’s legacy

After 60 years, chances to overcome the interstate system’s legacy


September 20, 2016    Andrew Carpenter

Editor’s note: This is one of the final parts of our Transpo(nation) series, in which Andrew Carpenter bicycled across the U.S. – from San Francisco back to Washington, D.C. – to report on transportation options. A series about transportation across the United States would be remiss to gloss over the country’s highway system. Rather than… Read more »

“Trail towns” embracing economic benefits of long-distance biking routes

“Trail towns” embracing economic benefits of long-distance biking routes


September 14, 2016    Andrew Carpenter

Editor’s note: This is one of the final parts of our Transpo(nation) series, in which Andrew Carpenter bicycled across the U.S. – from San Francisco back to Washington D.C. – to report on transportation options. The home stretch of my trip through Pennsylvania and Maryland followed the Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake & Ohio Canal… Read more »

WABA designing a regional bike lane map to inform a more equitable network

WABA designing a regional bike lane map to inform a more equitable network


September 9, 2016    Adam Russell

Across Washington, D.C., and its bordering counties in Virginia and Maryland, the data on bike facilities and who has access to them can be awkward to piece together. The region is blessed with scores of miles of bike lanes and trails, up from very few in 2000. But when D.C., for example, says it has “75 miles of bike… Read more »

Outside of the Northeast, Amtrak plays an overlooked role in connecting communities

Outside of the Northeast, Amtrak plays an overlooked role in connecting communities


July 26, 2016    Andrew Carpenter

Editor’s note: This is part six of our summer Transpo(nation) series, as Andrew bicycles across the U.S. – from San Francisco back across to Washington D.C. – to report on transportation-demand issues. Due to a series of tornado watches and significant hail storms, I had trouble biking out of Denver to cross the Great Plains. Especially… Read more »

REI knows that free Capital Bikeshare rides is sound business strategy

REI knows that free Capital Bikeshare rides is sound business strategy


July 14, 2016    Paul Mackie

For business owners, embracing bicycle and pedestrian traffic – not to mention transit access – should be a better business strategy than getting car traffic to their locations. Realty companies understand this, and they should know better than most. But REI, the outdoor-adventure store, is taking this fact to the highest level: it is offering… Read more »

College Park’s mBike brings accessible bikeshare to the region

College Park’s mBike brings accessible bikeshare to the region


May 12, 2016    Carol Tyson

A new bikesharing system, mBike, recently launched in a partnership between the city of College Park, the University of Maryland, and bikeshare operator Zagster. The mBike program has 125 bikes that serves students, faculty, staff, and residents on the university campus and in the surrounding city. Though it’s not compatible with Capital Bikeshare, what’s particularly… Read more »

Affordable housing and transit should go hand-in-hand

Affordable housing and transit should go hand-in-hand


April 28, 2016    Michael Ryan

The term “affordable housing finance” isn’t quite as catchy as “carshare,” “bikeshare,” or any of the other technology improvements helping promote transportation demand management. Yet for low-income members of our communities, who stand to benefit the most from those solutions, affordable housing finance should be considered, and put to use as, a TDM strategy. In… Read more »