O Canada! Vancouver's business Journal has a story on the role the developers have played in funding transit, including direct contributions and sales levies/fees. I'm surprised at how often transit value capture arises in the Canadian context (Toronto blog post example) relative to the U.S., their close neighbors to the south. In one instance, a Vancouver business leader offered an opinion about the need for infrastructure investment in that region and points to value capture as a means to do so.
In Metro Vancouver, governments may be able to capture a portion of the increase in land value that results when new transit projects lead to rezoning and significantly higher real estate values. These funds could be used to help finance other capital projects.
In this instance, I find it interesting that it was suggested that the value captured from transit investments be spent on other capital projects. That is certainly the prerogative of those crafting value capture policies. However, one of the attractions of value capture is the potential symmetry of the process, it's very strong conformance with the "beneficiary pays" principle of taxation.
Ian Carlton is a transportation and land use expert specializing in transit-oriented development (TOD). He helps clients - including transit agencies, planning departments, and landowners - optimize real estate development around transit.
Special thanks to Burt Gregory at Mithun for permission to use the Portland Streetcar image above.