Zachary Shahan | Clean Technica

BOSTON — The federal government this week pledged nearly $1 billion to help finance the expansion of the Massachussets Bay Area Transportation Authority's (MBTA) Green Line from Cambridge into Somerville and Medford, a major boost for the long-promised transit project, The Boston Globe reported.Transit-oriented development has been promoted by urban planners for ages. It was a hot and fun topic when I was in graduate school for city planning. It’s completely logical and beneficial to humans… those who live in transit-oriented communities and those who don’t. A new report finds that transit-oriented development (TOD) does indeed add value to homes but also adds affordability for the people living there. If you’re confused, here’s some information from Planetizen:

“A new report from the TOD Index reveals three important findings for the national real estate industry and housing market:

1. The financial performance of for-sale and rental housing in thousands of neighborhoods near rail stations across the United States significantly out-performs the national housing market. Among all station typologies, Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) are the leading performer.

2. Despite the impressive financial performance of TODs, households that live in TODs spend the lowest percentage of their income on housing and transportation costs, providing $10,000 in additional annual disposable income, on average, compared to the average American household.

3. Households in TODs demonstrate the lowest vehicle ownership rates and highest rates of transit, walk, bike commuting, which has important implications for environmental sustainability.”

The fact of the matter is, individuals transportation themselves around in large, mostly empty vehicles of their own is extremely inefficient. This comes with large financial costs for the individuals, and also large environmental costs that we jointly pay as a society, through things such as much higher medical bills, more suffering, and premature death. Read more