Transit and rail

Americans prefer a more multimodal transportation network

Our nation has changed its opinion of public transportation. In the 2016 elections, voters approved nearly $170 billion in new funding for public transportation. Popular support for light rail, subways, buses and streetcars is proof Americans now perceive public transportation as more than a public service, operated for those who might have no other mobility option.

Today, Americans view public transportation in a broader context: as an investment in economic growth, stronger business and a better quality of life – in addition to fulfilling its traditional role of providing basic mobility.

Several key factors may be contributing to the shift in perspective:
  • The benefits of transit go far beyond transportation: Businesses thrive near transit stations, and commercial and residential real estate rise in value. This generates greater economic activity and jobs while increasing the tax base.
  • People want choice, so they can determine for themselves the most convenient, fastest, most efficient way to get from Point A to Point B.
  • With expanding rideshare services, emerging ride-hailing and the potential for autonomous vehicle options, more people have a lower-stress, modestly priced way to connect home to station.
  • When transit and rideshare options work in tandem, they can decrease demand for parking, thus freeing up land for more fruitful development.
  • Strong leadership among elected officials, transit CEOs, general managers, transit boards and others are reframing the public’s understanding of transit’s role.

Selected HNTB thought leadership

Selected media

Photo: Dallas Area Rapid Transit South Oak Cliff Blue Line Extension (SOC-3)