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Transit-Oriented Development Typology Strategy for Allegheny County

Cities and regions from coast to coast are pursuing transit-oriented development (TOD) strategies as a way to achieve many goals, including increased economic competitiveness through improved quality of life, reduced congestion, lower transportation costs for households, improved air quality, reduced costs for providing city services, and growth management. The concept of TOD is becoming more popular as the number of regions planning light rail, bus rapid transit, and other fixed-guideway transit investments expands.

While other regions must spend hundreds of millions – or billions – to create transit-oriented communities, Allegheny County, fortunately, is well-poised to capture the creative labor force and new employers interested in the improved quality of life offered through transit-oriented living that its current fixed-guideway investments could catalyze.

Many of the county’s neighborhoods – and surrounding communities – were built around historic transit lines. A large share of neighborhoods near the T, Busways, and Incline stations are already walkable and include their own nearby community retail and service amenities. However, a more systematic approach to transit-oriented investments is needed to unlock the potential of these neighborhoods and draw regional economic growth.

This Transit-Oriented Development Typology Strategy is designed to provide a framework for understanding what these transit-oriented investments are, where they can leverage the greatest economic potential, and how they can be funded and implemented. Each station area in Allegheny County’s system has its own set of implementation needs to support transit-oriented development. The typology offers a framework for prioritizing and understanding these needs at a glance. There are additionally seven strategies that agencies and advocates can deploy to support and catalyze momentum for transit-oriented development across the entire transit system, regardless of place type.