The BART system, built in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s, was the first regional rail system to be built in the U.S. in more than 50 years. Since then, urban rail systems have been completed in ten cities on the West Coast and in Vancouver, Canada. These cities have had varying levels of success in attracting transit-oriented development (TOD). Seattle can learn from these experiences, so it does not repeat mistakes others made and takes advantage of opportunities presented.
To understand more about what tools work best, this paper presents detailed case studies of representative transit-oriented development projects throughout North America. Lessons from these case studies and the implications for Seattle are discussed. These lessons will help evaluate what actions makes most sense for the city and its neighborhoods.
The twelve cases of transit-oriented development were selected because they represent comparable light rail station types and/or physical settings or…