There has been significant attention in the transportation research field regarding the extent to which transit investment supports “agglomerations
economies” – the ability of business firms to realize productivity gains because of greater labor market access. This research study addresses
this same general issue of business productivity, market access and transit service, but from a different perspective.
This study examines the extent to which America’s economic growth is now occurring in technology-oriented business sectors that rely on the clustering
(agglomeration) in specific urban locations – where they can best access R&D centers, information sharing and a large, skilled workforce. And it examines an emerging problem that each of these high growth, technology-oriented clusters is facing – the limitation of a road system that cannot continue to expand capacity forever.
To address this issue, the study also examines the extent to which these types of employment cluster already have, or are starting to, turn to bus and rail investment as a necessary step to allow continued economic health and continued employment growth. It uses both national data on technology industries, along with analysis of eight technology industry clusters, to draw national findings on the potential economic stakes and emerging need for public transportation investment.
Image: David Fettig