NewMobilityCafe The Train – Capturing the value of . . .

The whole “streetcar as urban redevelopment tool”, seems to have originated here in Portland, Oregon. I think the general term for this funding is “tax increment financing” (which you can look up on Google). In fact the first streetcar line was built here with no federal government funding.

Portland is working on its 3rd streetcar route and has developed a 20 year streetcar plan. The streetcar routes are selected to optimize development not necessarily to meet transportation goals. (In fact the streetcars are not owned by the transit agency in Portland but a private nonprofit (NGO) organization ( However, they contract with the transit agency to operate the service.)

There was an evaluation of the first line that indicated that the Portland streetcar had only a small effect on reducing car trips in the area and some walking and cycling trips did shift to streetcars. Still the streetcar is always full of people so it’s definitely providing a useful service.

Dave Brook

On Feb 24, 2011, at 3:41 AM, eric britton wrote:

Dave Wetzel has this morning passed on this URL — — which will take you to a 5 minute clip produced by Fred Harrison. It looks into the anomaly hereby taxpayers finance infrastructure investments that create high value, that are captured not by the public as a whole but by the lucky individual landowners whose real estate values rise, often hugely, as a result of these public investments.

This is the whole concept in a nutshell of Value Capture, a valuable tool which is not being used or even much talked about, other than in exceptional circumstances,

Bottom line: Value Capture is a key element of the New Mobility Agenda strategy. Every public investments So we all will do well to learn more about it and push the idea when the opportunity arises.

For more discussion of this, I invite you to go to and/or

Eric Britton

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