High gasoline prices have contributed to a significant increase in transit ridership across the country. Cities and regions, including such unlikely candidates as Los Angeles, are looking to provide their citizens with public transportation alternatives to personal automobile travel. Many factors beyond gas prices are reinforcing this renewed interest in transit including: evidence that transit-oriented development promotes economic prosperity; a growing sense of urgency to tackle climate change; and awareness that our dependence on oil leaves our energy security at risk. While transit can help address these issues, it is challenging to build new transit projects where the people are – in existing neighborhoods.
On December 3, Brookings will host a discussion exploring the key questions of our national support for transit projects by examining the construction of the Purple Line, a proposed 16-mile rapid transit line in the Maryland suburbs. Panelists will discuss the federal evaluation process, the role of the state in funding and the challenges in securing support from local communities.
After the program, panelists will take audience questions.
Bruce Katz, of the Brookings Institution, said [land mapping] is not just about "real estate," but about access "to a talent pool." "Automobiles are essentially computers on wheels," said Katz, who focuses on the challenges and opportunities of global urbanization. "The broader Detroit area is one of the greatest hubs of technological innovation around manufacturing."