The relocation of Marriott’s headquarters to downtown Bethesda would bring new riders and revenue to Metro, without straining Metro’s capacity. A win-win!
Marriott last month announced it will move its headquarters to downtown Bethesda, bringing over 3,500 employees to a location that’s now accessible to the Red Line. The move will help Metro by attracting more riders and fare revenue to the Red Line. Using our S.W.A.R.M. model, we estimate that the new headquarters will bring about 1,200 new boardings/day on Metrorail, and over $1 million per year in new fare revenue.
What’s more, we’ve already got space for these new riders. Since most of the new riders would be reverse-commuters (towards Bethesda in the morning) or would originate in Montgomery County, they would not strain existing crowding on-board trains at our pinch points, a.k.a. our maximum load points. Bethesda station has sufficient vertical circulation capacity for them as well. In short, this move is a win-win for Metro, the riders, and our funding partners, and we applaud the decision.
A new tool helps estimate ridership and revenue from transit-oriented development projects near Metrorail stations. Download it for yourself!
For months we have been detailing our work that quantifies the relationship between land use and rail ridership. This is important because Metrorail has been experiencing large changes in ridership, and we were
interesting interested in understanding why certain station areas – like Navy Yard and NoMa – were showing ridership gains while the system as a whole is experiencing losses in the long arc of ridership growth.
To get to the bottom of this, we worked with researchers from the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth to analyze how walk ridership at a Metrorail station relates to its surrounding land uses, and create a tool that accurately estimates the likely change in ridership from changes in land uses. This tool, the Station Walk Area Ridership Model (or S.W.A.R.M., for short), helps us estimate the potential impacts of land use changes – new households, new jobs (by type of employment!), and even changes in the station’s walkshed – on ridership and revenue to Metrorail. Read more…