Public transit agencies have employed intelligent systems for determining schedules and routes and for monitoring the real-time location and status of their vehicle fleets for nearly two decades. But until recently, the data generated by daily operations in the transit system were only available to managers and engineers inside agencies. Transit riders could consult static information when planning trips, primarily through printed or online timetables or maps. Where dynamic train or bus arrival predictions were accessible, riders could only see this information on fixed signs at transit stations or stops. With the popular adoption of smartphones and other mobile technologies transit riders gained the capacity to access information anywhere and at any time. Some transit agencies have responded by publicly releasing disaggregated data files for schedules and real-time feeds of vehicle locations. These agencies have thus empowered civic entrepreneurs to…
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…
The federal government, through various transportation acts, such as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and, more recently, the Safe, Affordable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), has reinforced the need for integration of land use and transportation and the provision of public transit. Other federal programs, such as the Livable Communities Program and the New Starts Program, have provided additional impetus to public transit. At the state and regional level, the past three decades have seen increased provision of public transit. However, the public transit systems typically require significant operating and capital subsidies—75 percent of transit funding is provided by local and state governments.1 With all levels of government under significant fiscal stress, new transit funding mechanisms are welcome. Value capture (VC) is once…
Letter To Residents
The District of Columbia is committed to bringing a streetcar system to the city to improve transit services available to residents and create walkable, vibrant communities. In the spring of 2010, the DC Office of Planning (OP) initiated a land planning study to ensure that the city and its residents gain the greatest possible benefits from the new system, and that the overarching vision and goals for the District are furthered by the new system.
Goals of the DC Streetcar system:
Link neighborhoods with a modern, convenient and attractive transportation alternative.
Provide quality service to retain and grow transit ridership.
Offer a broader range of transit options for District residents.
Reduce short inner-city auto trips, parking demand, traffic congestion and air pollution.
Connect people to jobs and services with frequent, affordable, reliable transit service.
Encourage economic development and affordable housing options along streetcar corridors.
Introduction to H+T
Significance of Transportation Costs and the Lack of Transparency
Today, the real estate market knows how to incorporate the value of land into the price of the home—based on its location and proximity to jobs and amenities—but there is less clarity about how the accompanying transportation costs also contribute to the desirability of a location. In most cases, the very same features that make the land and home more attractive, and likely more expensive per square foot, also make the transportation costs lower. Being close to jobs and commuter transit options reduces the expenses associated with daily commuting. And being within walking distance of an urban or suburban downtown or neighborhood shopping district allows a family to replace some of their daily auto trips with more walking trips. Walking, bicycling, taking transit, or using car sharing instead of driving a private automobile reduces gasoline and auto maintenance costs, and may even allow a family…
Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) ridership is increasing in tandem with population and employment growth in the Washington, DC region. Metro currently operates the second largest rail transit system in the U.S. and its ridership is expected to grow by 42 percent by 2030. This growth in ridership is likely to occur during an era of increasingly constrained finances. And while the share of those who walk and bicycle to Metrorail Stations has been increasing over time, there remain significant opportunities for growth in both these cost-effective modes of access.
This plan identifies strategies to enhance pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity in and around Metrorail Stations. It provides recommendations for a range of physical infrastructure improvements, as well as policies and programs to encourage multi-modal trips.
Accommodating more walking and bicycling access trips will enable Metro to realize projected increases in ridership in the most…
Public Markets are key elements to urban revitalization. The number of markets in the U.S. has increased from roughly 1,500 markets in 1994 to over 3,500 in 2004. Markets can improve districts in the following ways: act as a small business incubator, spur economic development around the market, connect local producers to consumers, provide vital social services to low-income citizens, provide access to healthy foods, offer affordable housing, and create a sense of place in the community. In order to achieve success, markets develop community partnerships that focus on different areas of improvement, such as historic preservation, retail development, a link between food producers and consumers, social services, and affordable housing. They then structure their leadership in such a way that is responsive to that area of improvement. The most successful markets establish a variety of community partnerships that focus on a range of improvements and community needs.
A livable community has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive features and services, and adequate mobility options for people, regardless of age or ability. As communities address the general shortage of affordable housing, preserving affordable housing in transit-oriented developments (TODs) is one of the challenges that communities can address to increase their livability.
TODs are compact, walkable, mixed-use communities that are developed around high-quality public transportation. Residents often prize these places for the advantages created by the proximity to transportation and other amenities. One consequence of this desirability is that it can increase land and property values, exacerbating housing affordability challenges.
As policymakers try to extend the benefits of TODs to affordable housing locations, they must ensure that those benefits are available to people of low and moderate incomes and to those with different mobility…