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Transit is key to adding jobs in Sacramento

The Sacramento Valley Station reopened in February after a two-year, $36 million renovation project.
The Sacramento Valley Station reopened in February after a two-year, $36 million renovation project. aseng@sacbee.com

While Sacramento continues to climb the charts of desirable places to work and live, it’s important to do some self-analysis on how we should be prioritizing new investments. As we look to improve our economic position in the Northern California “mega region,” the urgent need for a well-funded transportation network has never been more apparent.

Public transportation is clearly an affordable way to travel that brings environmental and significant economic benefits. According to the American Public Transportation Association, public transit trips have increased by 37 percent since 1995, outpacing population growth and vehicle miles traveled.

Sacramento benefits from Amtrak passenger rail service on the Capitol Corridor and San Joaquins lines; efforts to improve timing and frequency of the San Joaquins service exemplify an exciting opportunity.

Our roadways, bicycle paths and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes all serve as feeders in and out of the core transit network, and together support our local economy and quality of life. To make our city attractive for new business, we must demonstrate that employees can conveniently get to work, but also thrive in Sacramento.

The real estate market in Sacramento is hot, and we can expect demand to increase. As more coastal residents choose to move inland, there is no doubt that proximity to public transit will play a large role in attracting and fostering a competitive job market in Sacramento.

As attention is focused on President Donald Trump’s highly anticipated infrastructure package, we hope that transit systems and inter-city rail are recognized as critical investments. Sacramento’s rail lines and the proposed streetcar provide important connections, boosting tourism and further solidifying our identity as a center for industry development and entertainment. As transportation priorities are debated in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, we urge elected officials to support rail and transit as top priorities.

Barry Broome is president and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council. He can be contacted at bbroome@selectsacramento.com.

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