As demand for public transportation continues to increase and traditional methods of funding are facing over-subscription and stagnation, transit agencies and their communities are exploring and pursuing innovative approaches such as value capture to finance public transportation investments. Value capture is a type of public financing that recovers some or all of the value (i.e., the increase in adjacent land values) that public infrastructure generates for private landowners. This unearned value may be "captured" by converting it into public revenue. In short, value capture is an innovative funding option that can allow some portion of the increase in adjacent land value to be dedicated to developing and operating public transportation because the investment in transit services is linked to enhanced private land values.
Among others, four common types of value-capture strategies include assessment districts, tax-increment financing (TIFs), joint development, and development impact fees. These strategies have been used to provide funding for public transportation operations, as well as a funding stream to finance infrastructure investments and ridership-enhancing neighborhood improvements.
While there is a body of research on value capture and some successful experience by transit agencies in implementing value-capture mechanisms, many transit agencies interested in pursuing value-capture revenues have faced impediments to their efforts. Consequently, many transit agencies and their partners are seeking updated information and guidance to apply value capture mechanisms to their public transportation, projects.
The objective of this research is to identify practical approaches to successfully implementing value capture for public transportation and overcome the impediments associated with these funding mechanisms. The research should focus on the perspectives of entities such as financial advisors, bond lawyers, debt issuers, municipal underwriters and brokers, debt and equity fund managers, and land use developers that participate in monetizing the increases in value of real estate that are linked to transit investments. The research should also address the perspectives of policymakers and regulators associated with transportation infrastructure at the local, state, and national levels, including entities responsible for TIFIA loans and FTA major capital investment grants. This research should
- Address the types of local economic conditions that can influence the efficacy of value capture as a financing strategy.
- Present regulatory, legislative, and other key factors that affect the use of value-capture mechanisms for public transportation.
- Identify strategies to make the business case for dedicating value-capture revenues (or portions thereof) to public transportation (vs. other competing uses for those revenues).
- Identify the types of questions that must be asked, the data that must be collected, and the analyses that should be performed for transit agencies to demonstrate credit worthiness to national rating agencies for value capture projects.
- Identify strategies that facilitate coordination among the entities that play a role in monetizing the value created by public transportation projects.
The primary audience for this research is public transit agencies. The research results may also benefit local, regional, state, and federal entities. The product of this research should
- Improve broad-based understanding on how to successfully implement value capture and overcome historic impediments.
- Present opportunities for public transit agencies and their partners to learn from and build on the successes of other transit agencies,
- Present practical approaches for near- and long-term strategies for public transit agencies to apply value-capture mechanisms to fund public transportation.
STATUS: The research has been completed and the final report has been published as TCRP Research Report 190: Guide to Value Capture Financing for Public Transportation Projects.