While at one point taking the bus might have been a less desirable way to get to work, things change from generation to generation. Being close to a bus stop or train station might be one of the better features in a place to live.
We talked about Walkscore last week, and how valuable it is to be close to as many amenities as possible, but this isn’t just limited to restaurants, shops, and schools. The ability to be able to commute comfortably without a car using public transit is just as much of a benefit to younger buyers who are less focused on large lot size. Instead, these millennial buyers are much more concerned with quality of life and experiences, which don’t necessarily benefit from being in a suburb or off the beaten city track. It’s not limited to millennials either; Generation X and Boomers are embracing public transit as well.
Why So Focused on Public Transit?
This shift in focus ties increasingly into the “downtown revival” concept, where original main streets and city centers in towns across America are seeing increased business and investment. People like the idea of being able to go down the street by foot and access whatever they need. It’s helped lead to popularity of neighborhoods like the East Village Arts District in Long Beach.
The idea of commuting becomes less odious when thinking in terms of a quick trip to the stop down the street, rather than an hour drive to the nearest city center. Alternatively in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, it’s nice to live in an area like Long Beach but also be able to easily take a Metro ride to Hollywood or Little Tokyo on a weekend and not have to battle for parking and traffic.
This change in priorities that has convinced a lot of communities to increase their public transit capabilities. Los Angeles is set to vote on a massive expansion of the Metro line, and other cities are perpetually looking for ways to increase their ability to move residents from place to place.
What this will mean for real estate is that embracing public transport in the future will be of great benefit for the overall accessibility and value of the community. An entire generation of buyers is coming in, with more than half of them focused on how they can minimize their need for a vehicle, and not responding to that need will leave a lot of communities behind.
Public Transportation in Long Beach
Long Beach is fortunate to have great options when it comes to public transportation. In addition to unique options, like the AquaLink and AquaBus, which ferry people along the waterfront , LB Transit has 34 bus routes and almost 2,000 stops in Long Beach, Lakewood, and Signal Hill. The buses connect to Metro Light Rail, making the entire metropolitan region easily accessible.
Additionally, the Passport Red Bus is a free service connecting people to downtown Long Beach attractions including the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, The Pike, Shoreline Village, and the Convention Center.