Walk … Run … Bike?
The answer to this question is public transportation.
To put things into perspective, a recent study by the Center City District (CCD) and Central Philadelphia Development Corporation (CPDC) revealed that an astonishing 70% of Philadelphians use public transportation to commute to work. This includes all forms (e.g. bus, train, subway, etc).
Wow, 70%! That’s crazy high.
What does this mean, and why am I blogging about it?
It means that not only has the overall mindset among those living in Philadelphia changed from car-centric to commuter-friendly, but it also forces developers to start thinking differently about their current and future projects. Which in turn, changes the way development is ultimately decided upon across the entire Philadelphia region.
And it should be.
If 7 out of 10 people already need public transportation to continue their current job commute, why would you build something that does not give them the option to access it easily? Since this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, it’s only going to become more important in the years to come.
Please also understand that this type of thinking has large real estate implications as well. If 70% of Philadelphians prefer to use public transportation over a car, it will have an impact on home values as well. To be honest, it already does today in some parts of the city; including the neighborhood I call home (Manayunk/Roxborough). Most Manayunk/Roxborough buyers/renters, that I work with today, inquire upfront about their potential public transportation options for each home we view.
My guess is that this post will spawn future posts about public transportation and real estate, but for now, please enjoy a brief introduction to this change in preference.