Transit planning in the United States has tended toward viewing BRT as an analogue to light rail transit, with similar operating patterns. This model, referred to as “Light Rail Lite,” is compared to international best practices, which have often favored the development of a grade-separated bus infrastructure (“Quickways”) that in turn supports a varied mix of all-stops, express, and branching services. This model, dubbed the Quickway model, evolved out of the practical necessity of cities to meet ambitious ridership or mode split targets. The two models are contrasted along the key dimensions of BRT service, and significant differences are identified. Three international case studies—Ottawa, Bogotá, and Brisbane—are reviewed for their particular application of this model and of the results they have obtained. Four domestic cities are compared to these international examples: Eugene, Oregon, and Los Angeles are profiled for their adoption of the Light Rail Lite model, and…
When you shop, you may visit a mall, or go to your town’s main street. At the mall, you probably cruise past rows and rows of empty parking, the spaces filled only one day a year. Maybe you head downtown, but can only find vacant storefronts. And where things are bustling, you can’t find convenient parking near the stores you want to visit. All three of these scenarios represent a “parking problem” that has a negative impact on other community goals. At the mall, overbuilt parking consumes land and wastes money. Downtown, storefronts may sit empty because new businesses that would like to move in can’t meet high parking requirements – and too little parking makes good businesses less viable.
Parking policy is an important element of transit-oriented development (TOD). It shapes travel behavior, community design, and development economics; it can improve the performance of both rail transit and TOD. This article is based on the study of residential TODs, office TODs, and joint development of transit agency station parking in California. The research includes surveys of travel behavior, stationarea characteristics, parking supply, interviews with real estate developers, and studies of replacement parking issues at joint development sites. Research results show that TOD parking supply and pricing policy seldom are structured to support transit ridership goals. Policy recommendations for improving parking policy for TODs are offered to transit agencies, cities, and developers.
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) has increasingly moved from a planning theory to built projects. Over 100 TODs and an additional 100 joint development projects currently exist in the United States. Over the past two decades an important trend has been occurring with TOD as a growing number of communities have married Light Rail Transit (LRT) and TOD as part of an integrated strategy to revitalize American cities. Along the way LRT has evolved to become both a people moving and a community building strategy. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has come to recognize that link in elevating land use as an important consideration for New Starts recommendations. With the competition for federal funding at an all time high, land use can make a difference in which projects are recommended for federal funding. Yet transit adjacent, not transit-oriented development remains the norm in most communities.
This study provides a 2003 measurement of travel behavior in California TODs. It supports recent efforts to develop information and policy recommendations that enhance the effectiveness of TOD development. It builds upon previous studies conducted in the early 1990s, and examines a range of potential rail users—residents, office workers, hotel employees and patrons, and retail patrons. Survey sites are all located in non-CBD locations, are within walking distance of a transit station with rail service headways of 15 minutes or less, and were intentionally developed as TODs. Surveys were conducted along each of California’s major urban rail systems, including the San Diego Trolley, San Diego Coaster, Los Angeles Blue and Red Lines, Los Angeles Metrolink commuter rail, San Jose VTA light rail, Caltrain commuter rail, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, and Sacramento Light Rail.
The promise of transit-oriented development (TOD) for increasing transit ridership, enhancing economic development, and establishing a “sense of place” at transportation nodes has been well documented in the literature. However, the majority of research addresses TOD in greenfield sites located primarily in suburban places in growing regions. The policies that are widely believed to be supportive of TOD are examined, the gap in knowledge about TOD in established city neighborhoods is addressed, and the challenges of TOD in different urban settings are compared.
Using hedonic price models, appreciable land-value premiums were found for multiple land uses in different rail corridors of San Diego County. The most appreciable benefits were for condominiums and single-family housing near commuter-rail stations in the north county, multi-family housing near light-rail stations, and commercial properties near downtown commuter-rail stations and light-rail stops in the Mission Valley. Elsewhere, commercial properties accrued small or even negative capitalization benefits. Pro-development policies, worsening traffic congestion, and a generally healthy economy are thought to have generally boosted land values in San Diego County, though impacts are corridor- and land-use specific.