Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Resource Center

Getting on the Right Track: Realizing the Development Potential of Light Rail

A case study analysis of development around Cross County MetroLink light-rail stations in St. Louis, Missouri and policy recommendations for encouraging transit-oriented development.

An analysis of the results of the study shows that:
• A major consistent obstacle of TOD are locational liabilities deriving from land acquisition issues and station placement issues more than market issues and inappropriateness of land for development.

• Station sites that are visible from major traffic arteries are appealing from both a market standpoint and seem to be more popular with TOD-style developments than stations that are hidden away from adjacent traffic corridors.

• The station-areas with the highest amount of TOD-style development have aid from their governments in the form of economic development tools and land acquisition and/or have particularly strong markets.

• Governments that have TOD-supportive zoning that allows for mixed-use and high-density development have more TOD-style development than governments without such zoning.

• TOD occurs more with governments that have encouraged shared-parking and using smart parking techniques to help reduce parking costs without discouraging potential tenants.

• Developers can overcome tenant fears by finding businesses that have previous experience in TOD developments or by educating new businesses to the benefits of such pedestrian-friendly environments.

• Metro and the municipalities were not involved in the planning or decision making when it came to where the line was going and where the stations were to be placed.