Transit-oriented development (TOD) – typically defined as compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of a transit station – has emerged in recent years as a key strategy for fostering quality neighborhoods and reducing auto dependence. Despite the emphasis on TOD in many policy discussions, however, only limited information is available to help communities understand the likely development impacts of new transit investments. This report builds on a 2010 study by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), Rails to Real Estate: Development Patterns along Three Recently Constructed Rail Lines, to examine the opportunities and challenges involved in promoting TOD in different types of neighborhoods, and the strategies that may be appropriate to catalyze TOD depending on the neighborhood context. By examining development patterns and public investment strategies through the lens of “development context” or “neighborhood type,” this report…
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.
In spring of 2011, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, was awarded a grant from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) to prepare the Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Sustainable Corridor Implementation Plan (Orange Line BRT Sustainable CIP). Metro, the City of Los Angeles, and SCAG retained Raimi + Associates and its consultant team of The Center for Transit-Oriented Development and Nelson\Nygaard to assist with the planning effort.
The Orange Line BRT Sustainable CIP identifies a range of improvements to the Orange Line and the fourteen station areas on its original alignment – such as land use changes, catalyst projects, streetscape improvements, and transit connections – that will increase transit use for commuters and discretionary riders, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and advance Metro’s sustainable development principles. The four main goals of the Orange…
Why This Book?
Transit-oriented development can be used as a tool to support family-friendly communities and high-quality education. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a mix of housing, retail and/or commercial development, and amenities in a walkable neighborhood with high-quality public transportation. Interest in TOD has grown across the country to achieve multiple goals, including:
Reduced automobile trips and greenhouse gas emissions;
Increased transit ridership and transit agency revenues;
The potential for increased and/or sustained property values near transit;
Improved access to jobs for households of all incomes;
Reduced infrastructure costs, compared to what is required to support sprawling growth;
Reduced transportation costs for residents;
Improved public health due to increased walking and biking;
Creation of a sense of community and place.
Recent TOD projects have often catered more to young professionals, empty nesters or other households without children, as these…
Why This Book?
The importance of Planning for TOD at the regional Scale
Transit-Oriented Development, or TOD, is typically understood to be a mix of housing, retail and/or commercial development and amenities — referred to as “mixed-use development” — in a walkable neighborhood with high-quality public transportation. To learn the basics of TOD, see the first book in this series, TOD 101: Why TOD and Why Now?
Building successful TOD requires thinking beyond the individual station and understanding the role each neighborhood and station area plays in the regional network of transit-oriented places. It also requires an understanding of the real estate market, major employment centers, and travel patterns in the region. Regional planning for successful TOD projects is really about the coordination of existing plans for growth, transit, housing and jobs, as well as programs and policies at all levels of government.
Coordinating all these TOD…
Light rail in the West Corridor presents an incredible opportunity for transit-oriented development to leverage market momentum for new investment and community building. A focus on TOD will support growth near new transit stations, enhance access to opportunity, preserve and enhance the supply of a range of housing choices, reduce the combined costs of housing and transportation, and support walking and biking to stations. However, implementing TOD along the West Corridor will not be a quick or simple process. The overall economic conditions in the country are vastly impacting the pace and magnitude of private sector development activity everywhere. This macro-level challenge, combined with some micro-market conditions along the West Corridor, where residential home values are relatively low and the potential value increases related to transit have not yet been realized, indicates that in the near term, most implementation activity in the West Corridor will fall…
In many regions throughout the country, the fastest growing employment centers are now located in auto-oriented suburban communities at the edge of metropolitan regions.1 From a public transportation perspective, dispersed and low-density employment centers are very difficult to serve through fixed-guideway transit.2 The location of new jobs at the edge also has important equity implications, as low-income residents have difficulty accessing jobs in auto-oriented suburbs from their inner city, urban, or rural neighborhoods. This can result in a significant cost to households and individuals as they spend more time and money commuting to work.