California vanpools using Teslas to more efficiently ease traffic congestion California vanpools using Teslas to more efficiently ease traffic congestion
California vanpools using Teslas to more efficiently ease traffic congestion
California vanpools using Teslas to more efficiently ease traffic congestion
How ride-hailing is disrupting transit, the auto industry, and our communities How ride-hailing is disrupting transit, the auto industry, and our communities
How ride-hailing is disrupting transit, the auto industry, and our communities
How ride-hailing is disrupting transit, the auto industry, and our communities
Can multi-passenger ride-hailing complement public transit? Can multi-passenger ride-hailing complement public transit?
Can multi-passenger ride-hailing complement public transit?
Can multi-passenger ride-hailing complement public transit?
Mobility: How technology will shape the way we travel Mobility: How technology will shape the way we travel
Mobility: How technology will shape the way we travel
Mobility: How technology will shape the way we travel
Could Uber and Lyft push to make paratransit efficient and affordable? Could Uber and Lyft push to make paratransit efficient and affordable?
Could Uber and Lyft push to make paratransit efficient and affordable?
Could Uber and Lyft push to make paratransit efficient and affordable?
Post-Travis Kalanick, Uber needs to finally think deeply about its role in the world Post-Travis Kalanick, Uber needs to finally think deeply about its role in the world
Post-Travis Kalanick, Uber needs to finally think deeply about its role in the world
Post-Travis Kalanick, Uber needs to finally think deeply about its role in the world

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

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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Packed surface parking lot

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

California vanpools using Teslas to more efficiently ease traffic congestion

California vanpools using Teslas to more efficiently ease traffic congestion


August 15, 2017    Jamila Owens

This article is excerpted from the Association for Commuter Transportation’s ACT Connections Newsletter. If asked under cover of darkness and with a promise of anonymity, most vanpool program managers will admit that, with their industry, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” People load the van, get low gas mileage, and schlep… Read more »

How ride-hailing is disrupting transit, the auto industry, and our communities

How ride-hailing is disrupting transit, the auto industry, and our communities


August 11, 2017    Ethan Goffman

This is a two-part series on ride-hailing carpool-like services. Part 1 introduced us to Via, now operating in Washington D.C., and included the results of a test ride with the service. Via launched in 2012 in Manhattan and now also operates in Chicago and Washington, D.C. And it’s similar to other services such as San Francisco’s… Read more »

What rebuilding in New Orleans means for transportation options

What rebuilding in New Orleans means for transportation options


August 10, 2017    Wendy Duren

This article is excerpted from a longer version at Arlington Transportation Partner’s blog. Having previously only spent one business day in New Orleans, I wasn’t sure what I’d experience besides beads, jazz, seafood, and hot-heavy-humid air at the Association for Commuter Transportation’s (ACT) recent annual conference there. I certainly didn’t expect to become smitten with a city… Read more »

Can multi-passenger ride-hailing complement public transit?

Can multi-passenger ride-hailing complement public transit?


August 9, 2017    Ethan Goffman

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on Via, a ride-hailing carpool-like service that has recently launched in Washington D.C. (Part 2 is here.) Buses cheaply transport masses of people but are slow and inconvenient. They make numerous stops, yet are still difficult for some to access. Uber and Lyft solve these problems, but… Read more »

Mobility: How technology will shape the way we travel

Mobility: How technology will shape the way we travel


August 2, 2017    Christine Perlick

Next-generation technologies are changing the way we travel, how we define transportation, and mobility options. Paul Mackie, our communications director, recently joined Tech Pulse TV’s panel of transportation experts to discuss emerging technologies shaping mobility, and how we will define mobility in the future. Today, somewhere between 75 to 85 percent of the cars on… Read more »

Why you should care about other modes now

Why you should care about other modes now


August 1, 2017    Maggie Awad

This article is excerpted from an article at Arlington Transportation Partners. Not too long ago, I was biking down 14th Street and was halfway doored by an SUV that had pulled partially into the bike lane to drop off some passengers. I say halfway because I was able to slow my speed enough that the impact wasn’t completely jarring and… Read more »

Could Uber and Lyft push to make paratransit efficient and affordable?

Could Uber and Lyft push to make paratransit efficient and affordable?


July 28, 2017    Angela Urban

Only seven to 10 percent of any age group with disabilities used paratransit or other specialized services for travel, according to a 2002 study by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The same study said that 8 to 31 percent of any age group with disabilities uses public transit. Those numbers haven’t likely changed… Read more »

Transit should cater to similar needs of seniors and Millennials

Transit should cater to similar needs of seniors and Millennials


July 27, 2017    Melissa Paluch

While Millennials and seniors are in diametrically opposing life stages, they are similar in many ways in their attitudes towards public transportation. Take the Millennials interviewed and surveyed back in 2012 and 2013 by the American Public Transportation Association’s Millennials & Mobility study and the Arlington, Va., seniors who participated in Mobility Lab’s focus groups… Read more »

Seniors, not just Millennials, may be turning away from driver’s licenses

Seniors, not just Millennials, may be turning away from driver’s licenses


July 26, 2017    Melissa Paluch

Millennials and seniors having anything in common may sound unusual. But when it comes to transportation, seniors age 65 and up may be following their 18-to-35-year-old cohorts’ lead by increasingly diversifying their transportation habits – or not having driver’s licenses all together. That is in line with what Mobility Lab found with some recent focus… Read more »

Survey: Arlington seniors are savvy users of public transportation

Survey: Arlington seniors are savvy users of public transportation


July 25, 2017    Melissa Paluch

Seniors in Arlington County, Va., have many similar traits to Millennials when it comes to using public transportation. This is one of several findings from a survey released today by Mobility Lab for Arlington County Commuter Services (ACCS). “’Aging in place’ is what seniors expect,” said Bobbi Greenberg, acting bureau chief of ACCS. “What we… Read more »

Vox/Mobility Lab video: The high cost of free parking

Vox/Mobility Lab video: The high cost of free parking


July 19, 2017    Paul Mackie

When Steve Jobs pitched Apple’s new California campus – which opened earlier this year – he wanted to turn parking lots into green landscapes. But the city of Cupertino demanded 11,000 parking spots, which put a wrench in that part of Jobs’ vision. Cupertino’s parking requirements are not unique. It’s estimated that, in America, there… Read more »

Survey: Transit information displays help businesses, shoppers at Tysons Corner mall – Redmon Group

Survey: Transit information displays help businesses, shoppers at Tysons Corner mall – Redmon Group


July 14, 2017    Mobility Lab Web

Sixty-three percent of respondents reported that information they viewed on the six transit-information displays influenced their decision of when to depart the Tysons Corner Center mall in Northern Virginia, according to a survey by Redmon Group, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and Iteris. The findings suggest real-time traveler information impacts decision-making on when to depart the shopping… Read more »