4. Washington, DC
2. San Francisco
1. New York City
Today, real estate investment, management and development are greatly influenced by issues of sustainability, energy efficiency, and environmental impact–issues that registered on very few radars just a couple decades ago.
Since this ranking is sure to create controversy, let’s consider its criteria. These cities’ public transit systems aren’t scored according to availability of personal space, courteous staff, punctuality, or absence of strange and/or vulgar inhabitants (Whew! say most of the cities on this list). Rather,
In calculating a Transit Score for a particular location, a “usefulness” value is assigned to nearby transit routes based on frequency of service, type of route, and distance to the nearest stop on the route. City scores are then calculated by applying the Transit Score algorithm block-by-block throughout the city and weighting the scores by population density. (ThinkProgress.org)
Metro areas with an extremely clean or well-maintained transit system, or hybrid vehicles, or on-time buses (e.g. Denver’s RTD, which is so on-time it’s a little bit surreal) don’t achieve as high a rank as we’d expect.
No, this list is skewed in favor of America’s most enormous public transit systems.
But since the availability of public transit is an increasingly important concern among commercial real estate investors and tenants, the overall “reach” of a transit system may be the best way to judge an area’s transportation offerings (though I’m sure many are more interested in which public transit systems offer the lowest likelihood of getting stabbed, which would be a very different list).
As the U.S. continues in its post-90s trend of urbanization, and population density becomes more and more of an issue, neighborhoods with the most and best alternatives to the car (as un-American as that may be) will likely mean the difference between full and low occupancy in office, retail, and even residential properties.
Today, a regional shopping mall’s performance is typically connected to its proximity to major highways. But in 10 or 20 years (especially if America’s relationship to fossil fuels remains the same) the best-performing malls might be the ones built beside train stations.