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Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

Join the Movement

Members of Voices for Public Transit know public transportation benefits everyone. We’re keeping it moving.

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Public Transit Matters to Local Businesses

Several of America’s largest employers made significant moves over the past few years:

  • In January 2016, GE announced its headquarters would leave Fairfield, Conn., and relocate to Boston.
  • Timber and wood products giant Weyerhaeuser moved its headquarters to downtown Seattle in 2016 after 45 years in the suburban town of Federal Way, Wash.
  • McDonald’s announced it would move its corporate offices from suburban Oak Brook, Ill., to Chicago by spring 2018.
  • Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company, has plans to relocate its headquarters to Bethesda, Md.

What do all of these moves have in common? Proximity to public transportation.

  • Weyerhaeuser spokesman Jack Evans called access to transit "a big deal" for employees.
  • Marriott CEO Arne Sorensen specifically praised public transit as a lure for hiring, saying, “I think it’s essential we be accessible to Metro… I think, as with many other things, our younger folks are more inclined to be Metro-accessible and more urban.”

These companies not only want to improve commutes for employees, but also be located where new, young talent wants to work. In our previous blog, we highlighted how access to public transportation is a key factor for Millennials when they decide where to live and work. In a recent Voices for Public Transit survey, business owners said public transit is critical to having the best workforce possible: “Providing [transit] access to all employees is critical to attracting quality talent.”

Insurance giant State Farm has gone a step further. In three locations, the company is making investments in local public transit hubs. The company’s goal is to improve the quality of life for their employees and lay the foundation for future growth. According to Chief Operating Officer Michael Tipsord, “We’re designing these workplaces to be the future of State Farm. We’re creating a live-work-play environment that will give employees easy access to their work from the neighboring communities.”

Corporate relocations or moves near public transportation can bring bountiful commercial, cultural, and retail benefits to the surrounding communities. In many areas, developers are investing in new housing in conjunction with public transit expansions. State Farm itself is anchoring a $600 million investment in Tempe, Ariz., and public transit access was a big reason for the company’s decision to move forward with this investment.

Ever more frequently, the presence of public transportation is a primary factor in business decisions. It’s obvious public transportation infrastructure warrants public investment not just for the benefit of the people who ride it but also for their larger communities, so they may reap the benefits of increased economic activity, improved traffic congestion, and greater safety for everyone.