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…
This report provides an evaluation of planning and implementation efforts undertaken based on the Pennsylvania Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) Act. This innovative law, passed in 2004, has been cited nationally as a model for fostering transit-oriented development (TOD). TRID is intended to achieve a variety of goals including:
Encouraging TOD and economic development;
Fostering collaboration between multiple entities;
Promoting the use of value capture mechanisms, public-private partnerships, and other innovative financing methods to spur infrastructure investment;
Incorporating community involvement in planning; and
Generating increased revenue and ridership for transit agencies.
The TRID legislation enables the use of a district-based tax increment financing mechanism to capture increases in property values to pay for needed improvements. It is distinct from tax-increment financing (TIF) because unlike TIF, it does not require that there be a…
By 2013, King County Metro Transit’s bus rapid transit (BRT) service, known as RapidRide, will be expanding to six lines covering 64 miles of high-use corridors. The Bus Rapid Transit and Land Use Initiative is the product of a partnership between ULI Seattle, King County Metro Transit, the city of Seattle, the city of Shoreline, and the ULI/Curtis Regional Infrastructure Project. The partnership formed a team of ULI members and transit professionals to analyze and make recommendations about connecting RapidRide and land use opportunities. The team developed case studies of similar BRT service in other cities and analyzed three station areas in Seattle and Shoreline.
From the perspectives of multimodal corridors, neighborhood design, housing, jobs/workers, marketing, and stakeholders, the team developed specific recommendations for RapidRide and initiative partners, as well as recommendations for each station area. Three overarching themes emerged:
As more and more cities join the transit space race and see the benefits of walkability, places like Pittsburgh – which already have well established systems and walkable street patterns– need to revisit and reinforce their existing transit networks in order to stay competitive. Long thought of as a planning concept for managing growth in fast growing regions, transit-oriented development actually has great applicability when it comes to reinforcing the neighborhoods that make mature cities great. We have the opportunity to reinforce and invest in our transit network in a way that captures higher ridership, generates lasting value for our neighborhoods, enhances the economic strength of our job centers, provides enduring benefits for all of our residents, from young working families to retirees.
This report comes at a time when our region is at an ironic crossroads. The time has never been better to think about how we can improve the integration of our transit system…
Around the country, rail projects are increasingly being planned and constructed to fulfill both important transportation and economic development goals. Recent research has shown the potential to leverage rail infrastructure investments to help grow economically vital and livable communities. This research, funded through the Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency, investigates two case studies of rail projects in Louisiana. The two cases, a potential intercity rail connection project between New Orleans and Baton Rouge and a streetcar project in downtown New Orleans, show both the significant promise of rail as a recovery tool and the logistical and political barriers to successful implementation.
Research on intercity rail indicates that two key ingredients to date have been lacking in the proposed New Orleans – Baton Rouge passenger rail service: 1) effective leadership championing the project; 2) creative solutions to…
This station area planning document is a reference tool for State transportation departments and local and regional jurisdictions working in partnership with transportation agencies implementing high-speed and intercity passenger rail (HSIPR) projects. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) encourages dialogue with Federal, State, regional, and local partners on ways to better integrate passenger transport and land use. FRA has included topics, concepts, and ideas to assist local jurisdictions and others accomplish successful station area planning and achieve an optimal integration of the station in its context — to ensure ridership growth and capture livability, sustainability, and economic benefits. Rail stations will differ depending on their location — downtown, airport transfer, suburban, and small town. While every station area is unique and should reflect local context, culture and climate, some common principles apply to the creation of forms and public…
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has gained attention as a potentially cost-effective form of highcapacity public transportation. This is particularly the case in small to medium-size cities that do not have high enough densities or serious enough peak-period traffic congestion to justify fairly expensive fixed-guideway transit investments. BRT is widely embraced for providing potential rail-like services at a fraction of the cost (Wright, 2011). This study explores possibilities for advancing BRT systems and associated higher density land development in the Central Valley of California. It uses photo-simulations and stakeholder reactions to visual images to gauge public attitudes toward what would be a fairly radical transformation of urban environments in traditionally car-oriented settings. Due to the comparatively low development densities found in the Central Valley relative to California’s larger metropolitan areas, the kinds of transformations that would be needed to…
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.
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…
A central tenet of urban economics is that households, businesses, and industries compete for urban sites that enjoy accessibility advantages – whether to jobs, labor markets, raw materials, or distributions centers. Transportation investments trigger economic growth by enhancing accessibility, particularly in fast-growing, congested cities. Scholarly work suggests the impacts are more redistributive than generative – that is, new highways, rail investments, and busways shift growth that would have happened regardless from particular corridors and subareas of a region to others as opposed to prompting firm relocations and new business investments in a region. Factors other than transportation, such as “quality of life”, are increasingly influencing location choices of middle-income households and firms that are footloose. Of course, transportation and quality of life are not unrelated – public opinion polls reveal that being stuck in traffic is often first on the list among…