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Report: BRT Yields Positive Economic Benefits

In many mid-sized U.S. cities, BRT operations can generate economic development and attract jobs, retail and housing at an affordable cost, according to the National Study of BRT Development Incomes released by Transportation for America (T4America), Smart Growth America’s TOD Technical Assistance Initiative and the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) at Portland State University.

“Unlike the presumptions of some, bus rapid transit systems have important effects on metropolitan development patterns,” stated report author Arthur C. Nelson, University of Utah. “At substantially lower costs, BRT generates important and sometimes impressive development outcomes.”

The study finds that areas within a half-mile of BRT corridors increased their share of new office space by one third from 2000-2007, and new multifamily apartment construction doubled in those areas since 2008. During the economic recovery following the 2008 recession, these corridors also increased their share of office space by one third and more higher-wage job growth occurred near BRT stations than occurred in central counties.

The report is available here.
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