Evaluating the Economic Implications of Investment in New York City’s Subway System

Returns on Investment in Transportation Infrastructure
Aram Hur
Bryant Feng, Timothy Hambidge, Miranda von Salis
Better public transportation is widely considered to have economic and social benefits. With federal transportation infrastructure spending in decline, local governments are forced to weigh the potential benefits of investment in transportation against politically unpopular increases in taxes and fees. What is the return on investment to transportation infrastructure, and more importantly, who does it benefit? A Capstone team conducted a systematic evaluation of the economic consequences of investment in New York City’s subway system by differentiating between levels of investment and type of economic benefit. The team compiled a detailed dataset of transportation and economic indicators by zip code tabulation areas and used a variety of statistical techniques—including matching analysis—to better isolate the effect of transportation improvement. Their findings have implications for how best to prioritize the investment of limited public funds available for transportation infrastructure.
Areas Of Impact