The smart growth movement in the U.S. has focused on creating incentives to develop housing near transit, so that people drive less. A new report by the Public Policy Institute of California argues for a different approach. If the goal is to get people out of their cars, the priority should be to put people's jobs, not housing, near transit.
The PPIC report concludes:
"Having jobs near transit is more important in boosting [transit] ridership than having housing near transit. It’s not hard to see why: while workers can park their cars or bikes at transit stations close to home, they need a way to get to the workplace after getting off the train. But the number of jobs per square mile in California is lower than the national average and declining, a continuation of a decades-long trend of jobs moving out of dense downtowns."
The context here is a California law that sets goals for reducing how much Californians drive in the name of reducing greenhouse gases and making us healthier (because we'll walk more).