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Transportation Lessons

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It doesn't take a urban-infrastructure genius to note that the New York subway system could do with some improvements. So why not look to Hong Kong, where the trains are fast and clean and the fares are enviably cheap, for some lessons? Its MTR is a private corporation that made a $2 billion profit last year?while the MTA, well, most certainly did not. The trick is something called "value capture," which means that the MTA controls the land under which its stations sit, and leases it out to shopping malls, hotels, office towers, and tall residential buildings, often sharing in the (high) revenue from those outlets, too. Of course, the Hong Kong system was built in the 1970s, so its operators don't have to contend with the challenge of upgrading a network that's 109 years old. Still, there's a lot we could learn. [The Atlantic]