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Options For Financing Transit

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A trio of reports from the past five years detailing various transit financing methods have been added to the Best Practices section.

Value Capture for Transportation Finance

 This 2009 report to the Minnesota Legislature was written by the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies.

"As vehicles become more fuel-efficient and overall levels of travel stagnate in response to increases in fuel prices, conventional sources of revenue for transportation finance such as taxes on motor fuels have been put under increasing pressure. One potential alternative as a source of revenue is a set of policies collectively referred to as value capture policies. In contrast to fuel taxes and other instruments that impose charges on users of transportation networks, value capture policies seek to generate revenue by extracting a portion of the gains in the value of land that result from improvements to transportation networks," the report notes.

The report identifies eight policies that contain elements of the value capture approach and evaluates those according to their efficiency, equity, sustainability and feasibility.

Charlotte’s Rapid Transit System: Leveraging Public Investment To Transform Land Use


This 2008 Powerpoint slideshow outlines how the Charlotte Area Transit System's direct investments in the LYNX Blue Line and indirect investments in the North Corridor Commuter Rail system to meet the systems three major land-use goals:

  1. Focus growth
  2. Maximize use of public transportation
  3. Encourage redevelopment and the reuse of underutilized sites

Additionally, an outline for how funding from TIF will help finance the North Corridor project.

TODs, TIFs, Reurbanization and Renewal

This 2005 discussion of "TODs, TIFs, Reurbanization and Renewal" was delivered in 2005 at the University of Texas School of Law Land Use Planning Law Conference in Austin.

The presentation traces the history of Dallas Area Rapid Transit District, which was authorized in 1983 by voters in 14 member cities. By 2005, at the time of this report, there were 93 miles of light rail and 35 miles of commuter rail. The system had 42 stations built or planned.

"By the end of 2001, private investment along the $860 million starter line had exceeded $922 million and is now well over $1 billion," the report notes. "Light rail has proved itself as a successful catalyst for transit oriented development and DART is actively working with developers to seek out TOD opportunities."

As the report explains, the success of State-Thomas TIF disctrict  created in 1987 was evidenced by high urban density and low vacancy rate. In 1993 the city created the Uptown Public Improvement District (PID) and the Cityplace TIF District. The property tax value of the State-Thomas property rose by more than 547 percent between 1989 and 2004. The Cityplace property value increased by more than 545 percent between 1992 and 2004.