Demand questions are the elephant in the room with autonomous vehicles Demand questions are the elephant in the room with autonomous vehicles
Demand questions are the elephant in the room with autonomous vehicles
Demand questions are the elephant in the room with autonomous vehicles
Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles will be a roller coaster ride Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles will be a roller coaster ride
Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles will be a roller coaster ride
Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles will be a roller coaster ride
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

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

Bikeshare systems get more creative with equity issues

Bikeshare systems get more creative with equity issues


September 21, 2017    Jennifer Dill

This article was originally published at Jennifer’s blog. I recently attended the North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) conference in Montreal to present some of the findings from our research at Portland State University on equity and bikesharing. On the first day, each member gave a one-minute blurb, sharing highlights of their past year. Several of the systems… Read more »

Virtual currencies like Bitcoin could make transit faster and more secure

Virtual currencies like Bitcoin could make transit faster and more secure


September 14, 2017    Damien Troy

Over the past 20 years, innovations previously undreamed of have appeared left, right, and center. Most recently, automated technology and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing a range of industries and sectors, from health care to transport. Cryptocurrencies are another technological revolution taking us by storm. The digital currencies are created and used online, with some, such… Read more »

Autonomous vehicles will improve transportation options for older Americans and people with disabilities

Autonomous vehicles will improve transportation options for older Americans and people with disabilities


September 13, 2017    David St. Amant

Imagine you are the adult child of a senior-citizen parent who is mentally sharp and active but whose reflexes and eyesight are not what they used to be just a few years ago. The ability to go to the grocery store, visit family and friends, or make a trip to the doctor’s office is important… Read more »

Demand questions are the elephant in the room with autonomous vehicles

Demand questions are the elephant in the room with autonomous vehicles


August 29, 2017    Paul Mackie

Say you live 1.3 miles from a subway station or a bus route that would offer you direct access to your job. Then picture an autonomous vehicle looping through your neighborhood every 20 minutes or so to take you and your neighbors straight to that access point. All of a sudden, you would be pretty… Read more »

Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles will be a roller coaster ride

Pros and cons of autonomous vehicles will be a roller coaster ride


August 28, 2017    Ethan Goffman

Autonomous vehicles appear to be wonderful in many ways. They will help seniors and young people get places. They’ll reduce traffic accidents and making driving safer. They will eliminate vast swaths of parking. Then again, they may worsen the most harmful aspects of sprawl. They could create lost tax revenue. They may cripple public transit…. Read more »

Local transit agencies have a key role to play in global climate pact

Local transit agencies have a key role to play in global climate pact


August 22, 2017    David Kirkpatrick

Last month, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the global climate pact, the Paris Agreement, prompting cities, states, investors, businesses, organizations of all sizes, and everyday Americans to step forward and pledge to continue fighting climate change. But passive support like gathering signatures isn’t enough. If you really want to do something, you… Read more »

As e-bikes grow in popularity, here are some things to know

As e-bikes grow in popularity, here are some things to know


August 18, 2017    Andrew Austin

With electric bicycles gaining popularity – and with their real potential to give drive-alone commuters a more realistic, better option than traditional bikes – people keep asking questions. And why wouldn’t they be intrigued? E-bikes are practical, they’re cool, and they’re making our lives a lot easier. For individuals, e-bikes can make long, hilly commutes… Read more »

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 »