Itasca Project report shows multi-billion dollar “ROI” for comprehensive MSP transit system
Analysis by Cambridge Systematics examined costs and benefits of metro-wide system
Minneapolis — A report commissioned by the Itasca Project looking at the Minneapolis-St. Paul region’s proposed transit system shows a “return on investment” of between $6.6 billion and $10.1 billion in total direct benefits, on a $4.4 billion investment, if a comprehensive transit system is built in the Twin Cities by 2030. To read the executive summary of the report, click here.
The Itasca Project, a CEO-led alliance drawn together by an interest in new and better ways to address regional issues that impact our economic competitiveness and quality of life, commissioned Cambridge Systematics to assess the expected return from the region’s proposed transit system.
“Our region needs an aligned, integrated and comprehensive transportation system to drive economic competitiveness and quality of life,” said Jay Cowles, co-chair of the Itasca Project Transportation Task Force and President of Unity Avenue Associates. “This report shows that investing in transit will provide strong returns for our community and our ability to grow jobs.” To see Cowles talk more about the results of the report, watch his video here.
Itasca’s transportation task force posed three questions that are answered in the report:
1) A built-out regional transit system would require substantial investment. What would be the return on that investment?
Answer: Between $6.6 billion and $10.1 billion in total direct benefits, on a $4.4 billion investment (benefits accrued 2030-2045)
2) Investments can be made more or less quickly. Would accelerating build out change the return on investment?
Answer: Yes, the total direct benefits would increase to between $10.8 billion to $16.5 billion, on a $5.3 billion investment (benefits accrued 2023-2045)
3) Many communities are interested in focusing more growth near transit stations. Would such actions, regionally, change the return on investment?
Answer: Yes. Doing so would increase net benefits by another $2 billion to $4 billion (benefits accrued 2030-2045)
The analysis looked at the costs and benefits of a regional transit system from its completion date through 2045. Two of the scenarios envision a complete metro-wide system by 2030. A third scenario accelerated the built-out timeline to 2023.
Six types of direct impacts were considered in the analysis:
· Travel times and reliability
· Vehicle operating costs
· Shippers and logistics costs
· Safety costs
· Road pavement conditions
In addition to the monetized costs and benefits, the report also indicates that compared to a base no-build scenario, an additional 500,000 working-age residents will be accessible within a 30-minute trip time under the 2030 build-out plan.
“Businesses support transportation options that will position our region’s economy for growth,” said Minneapolis Regional Chamber President Todd Klingel. “Our members are telling us that improved transit is critical to attracting employees. This report provides a strong quantitative analysis that investment in transit pays off.”