Commercial enhancement and stabilization measures can help protect and encourage existing small, local businesses that serve the needs of transit riders and neighborhood residents. A variety of retail businesses near transit has many co-benefits: it adds to the diversity of land uses, allows transit riders to take care of daily shopping on the way to or from the transit station and supports the local economy.
Potential strategies to support commercial stabilization are listed below. Many of these strategies are beyond typical land use regulations and are implemented by economic development departments.
- Create business assistance programs that support training, technical support, and other services for businesses that support transit riders
- Improve building façades through loan programs or other financial programs
- Preserve existing social or cultural establishments
- Provide development incentives or bonuses in exchange for maintaining existing businesses
- Support businesses that are complementary to transit supportive places
Encouraging businesses and a diversity of uses near transit facilities can decrease vehicle trips. Providing businesses that meet daily needs within a close proximity of home allows patrons to walk or take public transit safely and efficiently verses traveling by automobile (Ewing and Cervero, 2010). A meta-analysis found that the elasticity of vehicle travel with respect to land use mix is -0.02 to -0.11 (Spears, Boarnet, and Handy, 2010).