Historically, many regional transit systems were designed in a “hub and spoke” pattern, focusing on moving residents from relatively low-density residential communities to a single high-density employment center – typically the region’s historic central business district (CBD). In general, these systems have worked well for those workers with jobs in central cities. The effectiveness of this kind of system hinges directly on the density of the jobs co-located in close proximity to each other and within a short distance of transit stations.
Although CBDs and downtowns remain important regional employment locations, American cities have experienced significant decentralization over the last 60 years, as job centers have shifted from urban downtowns to suburban communities. This “employment sprawl” has helped to generate much of the traffic congestion experienced across regions today, contributing to over 100 billion dollars in lost time and fuel every…
In October 2010, the Center for Transit-Oriented Development published a report exploring the role community development finance institutions could play in promoting equitable transit-oriented development. This document is an initial effort to frame the context of TOD and equity, and to encourage a more robust discourse on the connection between the agendas of CDFIs and TOD.
An update to “Realizing the Potential” study for the FTA and HUD, which assessed strategies to promote mixed-income housing along transit corridors in Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver and Portland.
Since its inception in 1997, MTC’s TLC Program has achieved tangible transportation improvements that support regional livability in the Bay Area. The recent evaluation of the TLC program recommended “continuing to strengthen the land use connection within the TLC Program” by supporting transit-oriented development (TOD) and infill projects. TOD and infill are both critical to the continued healthy growth of the Bay Area, by reducing Vehicle Miles of Travel (VMT), reducing the combined costs of housing and transportation, and making more efficient use of transportation infrastructure.
There are, however, real challenges to TOD and infill development. Even after station area or downtown plans are adopted, TOD and infill development projects still face significant financial and regulatory barriers that impede construction. The financial barriers include higher land costs around transit stations, infrastructure upgrades needed to support increased density, the…
The Great Communities Collaborative (GCC) brings together residents and local organizations to participate in community planning processes across the Bay Area to create a region of vibrant neighborhoods with affordable housing, shops, jobs and services near transit. The GCC is a unique cooperative relationship between four Bay Area nonprofit organizations - Greenbelt Alliance, TransForm, Urban Habitat, the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, and the national nonprofit Reconnecting America. The East Bay Community Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation are also part of the collaborative. In 2006, members of the GCC met with the Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Bay Area LISC) and the San Francisco Foundation to craft a strategy for property acquisition in support of equitable TOD. These conversations were rooted in the recognition that the ability to control land and land use is…
Downtown San Bernardino
The City of San Bernardino is the county seat of San Bernardino County and part of the Inland Empire, one of the largest, fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. While San Bernardino and Riverside Counties are known for their rapid, low-density, suburban growth patterns, many Inland Empire communities are now reexamining this growth model in the face of concerns about air quality and climate change and the growing demand for walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods. San Bernardino is one City at the forefront of this trend, taking advantage of the growing interest in downtown living to draw new public and private investment into its historic core. The City’s downtown revitalization efforts are the subject of this case study.
In its efforts to revitalize the downtown, San Bernardino is capitalizing on a strong public sector employment base and high transit ridership rates. San Bernardino was once the economic and cultural heart of…
The San Francisco Bay Area is expected to grow significantly over the next 30 years, with an additional 1.9 million people and 1.8 million jobs projected by 2035.1 This growth is driven by a remarkably resilient Bay Area economy that continually reinvents itself. With our economy’s ongoing strength and the continued appeal of our region’s natural and cultural amenities, we increasingly need to find better ways to house the economy’s workforce, ensuring that all Bay Area residents can participate in the regional economy.
With considerable new regional transit investments planned for the coming decade, now is a particularly ripe moment to maximize opportunities for transit-accessible housing for a full range of income levels. Regional transit investments can not only address increasing commutes and traffic congestion, but they can also help increase housing affordability and provide wider access to jobs.
This brief argues for expanding mixed-income transit-oriented…
The Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation is a primary resource for state-level data on transit funding and is used by states across the country to examine their public transportation funding programs in relation to other states. Prepared by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Office of Survey Programs under the auspices of AASHTO and APTA, the Survey presents an array of useful information on funding by state. The data, however, are not presented in a way that is easy to make comparisons between states for purposes of benchmarking or conducting peer analyses. The bulk of the Survey is organized by state with two pages per state showing the sources and eligible uses for each state’s transit funding. The Survey report also provides an overview of state and local ballot initiatives related to transit and contains a set of summary tables displaying information on public transportation funding by state
MTC is conducting a “TOD Study” to address the transit oriented development opportunities in the Bay Area. This report looks at demographic characteristics of transit users to estimate the households and jobs with a preference for living/working near transit in the Bay Area, by 2030. It compares these estimates by county with ABAG Projections 2003 and the Smart Growth Vision.