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Transportation, Economic Opportunity, and America’s Future


A common trend in recent aging initiatives is the need to improve transportation systems across the United States. This policy brief, produced by Transportation for America, identifies the benefits of such improvements, with particular emphasis on economic development. The report cites seven markets where investing in transit (adding a light rail system, for example) resulted in significant business investment and development in the surrounding communities.  The report also provides specific recommendations for steps to encourage more transit investment nationally, regionally and locally.

Key Points

This policy brief uses data to support the economic opportunity associated with investing in transportation. Some of the benefits highlighted in the report are job creation, remaining globally competitive as other countries invest in modern transportation systems, and helping households achieve affordable living.

Some of the recommendations for accomplishing the goal of increased transportation investment include:

  1. Prioritize national investments that help the economy grow, such as setting national priorities that address increased mobility, significantly increasing the rate of annual capital funding made available for public transit investments, and others.
  2. Empower regions to plan for multimodal mobility, which provides more citizens more access to opportunities.
  3. Support transportation investments that create sustainable, affordable communities.

How to Use

While this policy brief does not focus specifically on how older adults can benefit from improved transportation systems, the recommended action steps will impact them. Policymakers and local officials trying to weigh the role of transportation initiatives in their communities should read this report. It presents compelling financial evidence that investing in transit creates livable, affordable communities.

View full report: Transportation, Economic Opportunity, and America’s Future (PDF – 1.3 MB)

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