We’ve all heard about how Americans love their cars and will never give them up… unless you provide them with quality public transit. Turns out that young professionals in mid-sized cities are clamoring for a way to get to work that doesn’t require them to stop looking at their smartphones. Or maybe it has to do with the cost-effectiveness of not having to pay for a car and insurance. Either way, mass transit ridership is the highest it’s been since 1956, and some cities that only had buses before are adding light rail and streetcars or trolleys. Plus, new Union Station-type centers combining transportation, shopping and eating are popping up all over, according to CNN:
One of these just opened this month in Anaheim, California. It’s called the ARTIC, Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodel Center, KNBC reports. It boasts access to buses and regional and interstate rail lines. It’s got bike lockers for the two-wheeled traveler. Price tag: $180 million.
Similar facilities are proposed in San Francisco, the Chronicle reports, and in Newport News, Virginia, according to WAVY. Near Denver, a project is under construction which aims to connect the airport, a new Westin hotel and an 82,000-square-foot plaza to the city via a new rail line. Critics fear it will balloon well beyond its $500-million-plus budget, the Denver Post reported.
In Denver’s Lower Downtown district, the city unveiled its renovated Union Station transportation center earlier this year. It’s already been credited with spurring a rise in ridership. Denver Regional Transportation District CEO Phillip Washington said the revamped station makes the city “the mother of all transit-oriented communities.”
Well, New York City might dispute that, but it never hurts to think big.