A Decision-Support Framework For Using Value Capture to Fund Public Transit: Lessons From Project-Specific Analyses

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A Decision-Support Framework For Using Value Capture to Fund Public Transit: Lessons From Project-Specific Analyses


Local and state governments provide 75 percent of transit funds in the United States. With all levels of governments under significant fiscal stress, any new transit funding mechanism is welcome. Value capture (VC) is one such mechanism. Based on the “benefits received” principle, VC involves the identification and capture of public infrastructure-led increase in land value.

While the literature has extensively demonstrated the property-value impacts of transit investments and has empirically simulated the potential magnitude of VC revenues for financing transit facilities, very little research has examined the suitability of VC mechanisms for specific transit projects. This report aims to fill this research gap by examining five VC mechanisms in depth: tax-increment financing (TIF), special assessment districts (SADs), transit impact fees, joint developments, and air rights.

The report is intended to assist practitioners in gauging the legal, financial, and administrative suitability of VC mechanisms for meeting project-specific funding requirements.



Dr. Mathur is an associate professor of urban and regional planning at San Jose State University. He has over 16 years of experience in academia, corporate sector and consulting. Dr. Mathur’s body of work includes more than 50 book-length manuscripts, book chapters, journal articles, working papers, conference papers/presentations, and consulting projects in the fields of urban economics, housing markets, public finance, growth management, land use planning, transportation planning, urban design, emergency management, and systems analysis. His work has been published by Urban Studies, Housing Policy Debate, Brookings Institution, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and Ashgate. Dr. Mathur holds an undergraduate degree in architecture, and a Masters degree and a PhD in urban planning. For more information, see http://works.bepress.com/shishirmathur/.


Adam Smith is a graduate of the Master of Urban Planning Program at San José State University. His professional interests include transportation and land-use planning, parking policy, transportation finance, transportation demand management, geographic information systems (GIS) applications for urban and regional planning, and urban design.

May 2012
Land value capture
Joint development
Impact fees
Tax increment financing
Special assessments districts



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