According to the 2006-2009 American Community Survey, 43% of New Yorkers commute to work by subway or railroad. New York City’s real estate market will be increasingly shaped by proximity to subway and rail lines, especially in light of the Bloomberg Administration’s commitment to the expansion and improvement of transit infrastructure.
Investment in public transit makes sense for a number of reasons ranging from improving regional accessibility and reducing traffic congestion to curbing greenhouse gas emissions and neighborhood revitalization.
It is striking to note the number of rezonings that have been enacted near transit hubs throughout the five boroughs in order to promote residential and commercial development.
Urban planners have noted an additional benefit of efficient public transportation. In addition to promoting sustainability and providing more access to jobs, public transportation has been shown to increase land values. It is true that in terms of residential properties, negative externalities associated with some types of public transit such as noise, crowding, and pollution may cause some to distance themselves from transit clusters. However, a 2011 report released by the Center for Housing Policy concluded, “In a metro area with a strong housing market and a reliable transit system that effectively connects residents with jobs and other destinations, the price premium may well be much higher than average.”
Transit expansion, in addition to making for a more sustainable and accessible city, will continue to shape the fields of civil engineering, urban planning, and urban design as well as the physical landscape and real estate market of New York City.
How has public transit access (or lack of) positively or negatively impacted the real estate market of your town or city?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.