Cities testing out autonomous buses, but is it worth the risk?

Six weeks ago, Arlington, TX, approved a 6-month lease (with an option to renew for another 6 months) of two EZ10 driverless shuttles to fill a gap for more precise transportation needs for residents of and visitors to the city. These vehicles will cost the city about $270,000 over the course of two years, should the city decide to extend this pilot project that long. The Eno Center for Transportation’s Greg Rogers and Paul Lewis did a “back of the envelope” cost analysis comparing the EZ10 with the capital and operating expenses of a traditional passenger van.

Alphabet soup? An update on transit finance

Across modes, the funding paradigm for transportation projects is shifting. As Congress exhibits a lack of appetite for addressing the impending crisis in the gas tax funding model, states and local governments are developing new ways to assemble financing packages for needed infrastructure projects. New strategies often combine previously underutilized local and state sources while tapping the private sector and federal grants to assemble full funding packages.

Financing Transit Systems Through Value Capture: An Annotated Bibliography (Victoria Transportation Policy Institute, 2012)

This paper summarizes the findings of more than 100 studies concerning the impacts transit service has on nearby property values, and the feasibility of capturing a portion of the incremental value to finance transit improvements. The results indicate that proximity to transit often increases property values enough to offset some or all of transit system capital costs.

Strategies for using value capture to fund transit

Recent work documents the results from communities utilizing value capture mechanisms shows the increased popularity of value capture strategies for funding the nation’s growing transit systems. Seventy-five percent of transit funding comes from state and local sources, pointing to a clear need to develop diverse revenue sources to support transit service. As vehicle miles traveled (VMT) continue to decline while transit use increases, the need for new revenues grows in importance