New study looks at what happens when developers provide a transit benefit

New study looks at what happens when developers provide a transit benefit

A person holding up a Compass Card while a bus passes by

What happens when you provide someone with a Compass Card with Stored Value? Do they use transit more often? 🤔

Catch up quick: We previously partnered with PCI Developments to study the benefits of developer-subsidized transit at King George Hub — a high-density, transit-oriented development near King George Station with office, residential, and commercial. The study confirmed it does indeed encourage higher levels of transit use with transit ridership increasing by roughly 10 per cent in the area during the study period.

Now: We’re partnering with PCI once again on a study, but this time, we’re looking at a medium-density development near Kootenay Loop in Vancouver.

  • PCI’s providing 94 Compass Cards, each with $150 in Stored Value, to tenants of the newly developed residential building, Yarrow East Village in Vancouver.
  • Kootenay Loop serves nine bus routes throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver, Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam — including the R5 Hastings St RapidBus.
  • Yarrow East Village features 94 residential units plus commercial.
  • During the study, transit usage will be tracked with participants’ permission. They will also be encouraged to fill out surveys and provide feedback on the program’s effectiveness.

Why it matters: The three-month project will help us better understand how developer-funded transit subsidies can increase public transit use.

  • In particular, we are keen to see how the program changes behaviour in this area given it’s close to downtown Vancouver and primarily served by buses rather than SkyTrain.
  • The building also features 19 affordable moderate income units under the City of Vancouver moderate income rental housing pilot program. 

What’s next: Once complete, findings will be shared with developers and municipalities to demonstrate the benefits of developer-funded transit subsidies.

Zoom out: This project is part of our Compass for Developments program.

  • It allows developers to make a one-time bulk payment to TransLink to satisfy municipal transportation demand management (TDM) requirements for transit benefits.
  • Stratas and/or property managers can also use the program to facilitate the distribution of the transit benefits to occupants.

The big picture: TransLink is always looking for opportunities to maximize the potential of transit-oriented developments to encourage sustainable travel habits and grow transit ridership.

  • In order to meet TransLink’s Transport 2050 targets such as increasing active transportation and transit trips, reducing congestion, and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, developers can help provide more and better options for building occupants to walk, cycle, transit, carpool, and carshare to and from their new development.
  • These efforts can enhance neighbourhood livability while delivering benefits to residents, commercial tenants, employees, the developer, and the region.