Adding jobs and households in transit-served areas not only increases Metro ridership, but also reduces and may even eliminate the subsidy that local governments pay to support Metro, meaning lower tax bills for regional residents.
(This post is part of a multi-part series* about ConnectGreaterWashington a study that WMATA completed in 2015 and its application of land use as a transportation strategy. The below post and links provide additional detail.)
In December of 2015, public and private leaders issued a call to action for the many jurisdictions in this region to start acting as one. We’ve actually been thinking about this for some time, and their announcement timed well with our desire to share perspectives on the following questions.
- What if the region’s future actually approached the goals of collaborative regional plans such as Region Forward and Place + Opportunity?
- Would WMATA and the region benefit?
- Are there financial, social, quality of life and environmental benefits?
Answers: YES, YES, and YES!
Approach: Metro planners hypothesized that changing local jurisdictions’ and/or the region’s approach to future land use decisions, such as where to guide future jobs and population and expanding transit-supportive policies, could enable the region to better use the transportation system we already have rather than require us to spend tens of billions on new transportation projects.
Planners developed three different scenarios (A, B, and C) that used the transportation system we already have, but modified future growth policies that determine travel patterns. The below post talks only about Scenario A, which had a specific goal to increase ridership on all segments of the Metrorail system, while minimizing the potential for overcrowding on any segment in the system. The image below shows how we built Scenario A and its three iterations (A Prime, A1, A2).