Transit Agencies Lease Real Estate to Generate Much-Needed Cash
The pandemic has sent ridership plummeting at transit agencies across the United States. Riders are slowly returning, but not in pre-COVID-19 numbers—and they may not for a long time, if at all.
Transit agencies must generate cash to replace the lost revenue from fares. One strategy that is gaining renewed traction is leasing agency-owned land to developers to build housing, office space and retail near transit stations.
“The precipitous drop in ridership across the country during the pandemic really exposed the vulnerability of the agencies’ funding because of the close tie with fare revenues,” said Paul Supawanich, an associate director at the National Association of City Transportation Officials. “A lot of them are saying, ‘How can we be creative and think about real estate development as an opportunity?’”
Many large transit agencies already have their own…