Metro’s Rosslyn-Ballston cor- ridor in Arlington County is a nationally recognized example of how transit can help concen- trate, sustain and attract devel- opment.
4 Capital Needs Inventory
TODs are mixed-used communities within walking distance of transit that combines residential, retail, office, open space and public uses in a way that makes it convenient to travel on foot or by public transportation instead of a car. Like a business, transit adds value to land because of the improved accessibility it creates, but unlike a business, transit does not directly capture the value it creates. Instead, an increase in demand for TOD results in an increase in revenue for local communities and property owners. This in turn supports services provided by local government such as schools, public utilities, police and firefighting. APTA estimates that every dollar invested in public transportation projects generates six dollars in local economic returns. And every $10 million invested brings $30 million in new sales to businesses.
Metro’s Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in Arlington County is a nationally recognized ex- ample of how transit can help concentrate, sustain and attract development. When the
Ballston Metro station opened in 1979, the area was mostly used-car lots. The County encouraged denser residential development near the station, and with that came more retail. Today the area is filled with restaurants, shops and offices, bringing customers
and workers to the area, and as a result, increasing tax revenues. The Urban Land Institute estimated that in Arlington County, development in two Metrorail corridors is concentrated on 6% of the land in the County but produces almost half of the County’s tax revenues. The Wheaton Metro station area in Montgomery County, MD and the U St. and 14th St. corridors in DC have also benefited from their proximity to Metrorail. The DC Office of Planning has stated that the development value within 10-minute walk of Metro stations in DC is $37 billion.
Finally, Metro helps promote the economy by saving people money. Recent re- search by the American Public Transit Association (APTA) estimated that people using public transit save over $9,000 a year in avoided parking, gasoline, insur- ance, maintenance and repairs costs. Metro also benefits those residents who do not use transit. On a daily basis, Metro buses and trains take 500,000 cars off the road reducing congestion thus saving people time. Businesses benefit from Metro’s transit services by spending less on fuel and not having to pay employees to sit in traffic. The Texas Transportation Institute reports that the congestion relief created through Metro services saves people in the region an estimated 26 million hours of travel time and an estimated $521 million each year.
Much of the anticipated new development in the region is expected in areas with transit access, supporting economic growth and providing benefits for local ju- risdictions. The investments outlined in this CNI are investments in the region’s economic future.
Metro improves the environment
Metro provides substantial environmental benefits to the region, eliminating more than 1 million tons of pollutants from the air each year. These reductions are a