Transit Impact Fee, Enabling Statutes and Equity Concerns

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - capital costs, economics - pricing, place - north america, policy - equity


transit impact fees, equity, United State, capital costs


This paper reviews four transit impact fee programs in use across the United States to examine the robustness of state and local enabling statutes and the strategies used to minimize the horizontal and vertical inequities of the fees. The paper finds that although impact fees are used primarily to fund capital expenses nationwide, three of the four case study jurisdictions also use the fee to fund operating, maintenance, and administrative expenses. Furthermore, clear language concerning the eligible uses should help provide robust legal protection if the fee is challenged in court. Finally, although the nexus and rough proportionality requirements ensure that the fee creates minimal horizontal inequities, no such legal requirements exist regarding the fee's vertical equity impacts. This lack of legal requirement is reflected in the uneven use of vertical inequity mitigation strategies adopted by the case study jurisdictions.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington. Copyright remains with them.