A New Way to Evaluate Transit

Currently, DDOT evaluates mass transit projects based on how much time they reduce a given commute. The problem with such a narrow statistic is that it overlooks certain quality of life aspects that may be more valuable such as walkability. The new proposed regulation will seek to compare the overall cost of the project against how many people actually use the thing:

Local subway trains through Manhattan are not a particularly fast way to move, but we know they’re valuable because they’re full of people. Judging benefits primarily in terms of ridership aligns the incentives with the most important goals of a transit system: creating dense, high-value neighborhoods near the stations that facilitate the benefits of urban living and reduce the need for suburbs to sprawl endlessly away from the city center.

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