Value of Transitways to Regional Economies: National and Twin Cities Perspectives

Principal Investigator(s):

Yingling Fan, Associate Dean for Faculty, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


  • Andrew Guthrie, Former U of M Researcher, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
  • Zhirong Zhao, Former U of M Faculty, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Project summary:

This project was comprised of two main analyses: (1) a national analysis that assessed the relationship between the presence and quantity of transitway service with the overall economic strength of US Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and (2) a comparative analysis of accessibility to regional employment centers, educational institutions, and workforce development service providers under current and hypothetical future transit conditions. For the first analysis, two-way fixed effects regressions controlling for demographics and total transit activity provided evidence that transitway investment is associated positively with GDP and job growth. However, no statistically significant relationship exists between transitway investment and median household income or inequality. The regional comparison analysis finds that fixed-guideway transit is widely accessible, yet slightly concentrated in higher-income or gentrifying neighborhoods.

Project details: