LIRR Third Track: From Economic Study to Construction

On behalf of the Long Island Index, HR&A conducted a comprehensive study of the economic and fiscal impacts of the proposed Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Main Line Third Track project. The project will add an additional track to a 10 mile segment of the LIRR between Floral Park and Hicksville, improving system reliability and significantly enhancing reverse peak service to and from Long Island. Initially part of the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) 5-year capital plan, the project was met with significant opposition from local elected officials and affected communities. In an effort to resuscitate the project, HR&A undertook complex and dynamic economic modeling to quantify the benefits of improved employer access to a skilled regional workforce, higher productivity in denser transit-oriented employment nodes, and rider time savings. Using transportation impacts modeled by project partner Parsons Brinckerhoff, HR&A employed the REMI Policy Insight model to estimate benefits the project would generate for Long Island during its construction and operational phases.

HR&A found that by improving regional mobility, Third Track will position Long Island for sustained economic growth by making it a more attractive place to live and work. Implementing Third Track and enacting complementary land use policies facilitating transit-oriented development (TOD) in station areas would generate 14,000 new jobs on Long Island by 2035, along with $5.6 billion in annual gross regional product and $143 million in annual tax revenues to Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Long Island would also attract 35,000 new residents by 2035, helping stem the outflow of talented young workers and their families. During the five-year construction phase, Third Track would generate $910 million in gross regional product and an average of 2,250 jobs annually, providing employment opportunities for construction workers hit hard by the Great Recession. HR&A summarized its findings in a compelling, graphically strong briefing book that has enabled the Long Island Index to communicate the benefits of Third Track to a range of stakeholders, including the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and LIRR, elected officials, businesses, and residents. The study was instrumental in reviving the project and winning approval and funding from New York Governor Cuomo. The $2 billion project is now under construction and is expected to be completed by late 2022.

Public-Private Development Strategy for Dhaka’s Mohakhali Bus Terminal

The World Bank is exploring the opportunity to leverage a public-private partnership to help develop a transformational mixed-use transportation hub in central Dhaka.


The Mohakhali Bus Terminal is a large transportation facility which utilizes more than eight acres of highly valued land in central Dhaka. With Dhaka’s unprecedented economic and population growth in the last decade and its proximity to desirable neighborhoods, the site has the opportunity to serve as a key transportation hub for North Dhaka—serving as an interchange for inter-city and regional buses, as well as future bus rapid transit planned for delivery in 2035. Mohakhali is well positioned as a catalyst to transform the neighborhood and Dhaka’s infrastructure. As part of the World Bank’s “Improving Private Sector Participation in Dhaka Public Transport” project, the site has the potential to leverage a novel public-private partnership for the first time, to support the funding and operations of a transportation facility at world-class standards.

To explore these opportunities and craft a strategy for Mohakhali that realizes the site’s potential, the World Bank retained HR&A to determine a market-supportable mixed-use development program that maximizes site value and while accommodating current and future transportation program.


HR&A provided the World Bank and the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) with a detailed assessment of the site’s physical existing conditions, a real estate market assessment for a variety of land uses, proposed a development program, and recommended a private-public partnership structure. First, HR&A conducted real estate market, demographic, and socioeconomic analysis to understand the site’s context and consulted with local developers and stakeholders to identify potential risks factors and opportunities. After developing an understanding of the mixed-use development that could be supported on site, the team developed real estate and program scenarios on the site’s publicly owned land to size the future revenues and the potential to support the terminal’s operating costs with the sale or lease of land and air rights. Finally, the team prepared a menu of potential partnership structures across both terminal operations and the proposed mixed-use private development, detailing roles and responsibilities for DNCC and private operations, along with estimated financial outcomes for each option. Implementation of these strategies will involve developing a roadmap of regulatory and institutional roadblocks and then identifying a critical path forward.


DNCC and the World Bank have begun implementing the next steps identified in the report, including meeting key municipal and national leadership and building broad consensus around the transformational potential of Mohakhali and the opportunities for private-public partnerships as a model for Bangladesh’s rapid infrastructure development.