The National Academies

TCRP H-50 [Completed]

Local Economic Development Measurement Tool for Transit

  Project Data
Funds: $150,000
Research Agency: Economic Development Research Group, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Mr. Glen E. Weisbrod
Effective Date: 2/11/2015
Completion Date: 2/10/2016


Transportation economic impacts are too often viewed as merely based on jobs generated during construction. While real, these impacts have nothing to do with the long-term benefits that transportation generates. Too often, however, these impacts are used as the only rational for public investment. Long-term benefits reflect improvements in accessibility, mobility and productivity.
Studies that document the actual observed effects of transportation capacity investments do but they are not always accessible in an organized fashion, nor are they of consistent quality. Transit is not unique with these issues. The Strategic Highway Research Program 2 (SHRP2) addressed this problem with a new Transportation Projects Impacts System (TPICS); see http://transportationforcommunities.com/t-pics. That earlier project identified different types of highway projects and developed an economic development measurement tool that can be used in two ways: (1) to enable local and regional planners to find the range of impacts associated with specific types of projects in specific types of settings, and (2) to facilitate future case study data collection and use, by setting up a national database of available case studies.  All of this is now done for highways in a user-friendly web interface, and this study will utilize that same interface for public transit projects. The T-PICS framework was actually planned with other modes in mind. Transit is a logical addition, given the growth in transit use and the fact that transit faces the same public concerns to ensure that dollars are well spent.


This project will build on the lessons learned from the SHRP2 project to provide a proof of concept for a transit version, in the form of a working prototype. It is recognized that significantly more resources will be required in future years to populate that prototype with more cases.

STATUS: The final report has been published and can be obtained here: http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/174387.aspx

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