What GAO Found
U.S. bus rapid transit (BRT) projects we reviewed include features that distinguished BRT from standard bus service and improved riders’ experience. However, few of the projects (5 of 20) used dedicated or semi-dedicated lanes— a feature commonly associated with BRT and included in international systems to reduce travel time and attract riders. Project sponsors and planners explained that decisions on which features to incorporate into BRT projects were influenced by costs, community needs, and the ability to phase in additional features. For example, one project sponsor explained that well-lighted shelters with security cameras and real-time information displays were included to increase passengers’ sense of safety in the evening. Project sponsors told us they plan to incorporate additional features such as off-board fare collection over time.
The BRT projects we reviewed generally increased ridership and improved service over the previous transit service.
Transit-oriented communities are places that, by their design, allow people to drive less and walk, cycle, and take transit more. In practice, this means they concentrate higher-density, mixed-use, human-scale development around frequent transit stops and stations. They also provide well-connected and well-designed networks of streets, creating walking- and cycling-friendly communities focused around frequent transit. Communities built in this way have proven to be particularly livable, sustainable, and resilient places. Transit-oriented communities also make it possible to operate efficient, cost-effective transit service. Because of these benefits, making communities more transit-oriented is one of the key goals of land use and transportation plans in Metro Vancouver.
In order to further the development of more transit-oriented communities in Metro Vancouver, this document provides guidance for community planning and design – based on best practices – in the areas…
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…
Transit oriented development has been a large part of Boston’s growth since the earliest horse-drawn railways. In fact, we live in a uniquely transit-oriented region, where 25% of housing units and 37% of employment is within a half-mile of a rapid transit or commuter rail station. Now Metro Boston is experiencing a new wave of growth near transit, with hundreds of residential and commercial developments underway and more on the horizon. Cities and towns are creating station area plans and updated zoning to unlock development potential; the MBTA is accepting proposals for major developments on prime T-owned parcels; state agencies are using transit proximity as a criteria for prioritizing infrastructure or housing resources; and the development community is finding a strong market for residential and commercial space near the T.
There are good reasons for this burgeoning interest in Transit Oriented Development (TOD.) New growth near transit stations can help…
Los Angeles is transforming our future by investing in the largest transit expansion in the United States. By the end of 2012, the City alone will have 71 operating light rail or bus rapid transit stations, with dozens more in nearby communities throughout the county. Planned Measure R investments will add another 42 stations to the City, for a total of 113 stations in 30 years. These plans could happen instead within a quick, ten year time frame if the federal government approves America Fast Forward, bringing thousands of new transit construction and operations jobs to the City and connecting over 1.2 million existing jobs to high quality, fixed-guideway transit rich areas.
Ensuring that all of our families and workers are able to continue to live and work in our most transit rich neighborhoods is a key priority of the City of Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD). One way to achieve this goal is to preserve existing affordable and rent stabilization…
As the Puget Sound region invests billions in a new light rail system, many stakeholders, including community leaders, workers, equity advocates and planners, are asking – who will benefit? Will the advantages of living along light rail be shared by households of all incomes and people of all races and ethnicities?
Transit oriented development (TOD), holds tremendous promise and opportunity for communities of color and low-income households. But, strong evidence of gentrification and the threat of displacement in Seattle’s Rainier Valley, accelerated by the light rail, threaten to undermine this promise. Rainier Valley represents one of the most racially diverse areas in the Puget Sound and is also one of the first communities to receive light rail.
Ensuring that TOD results in real equity outcomes requires a sharp focus on what equity means and a steady determination to achieve those outcomes. By including a racial justice framework in TOD planning and…
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…
What Does This Guide Do?
This guide is intended to provide Southern California housing advocates with an understanding of certain opportunities and legal tools for influencing affordable housing and land use polices at four distinct phases of sustainable transit planning and development: the regional, local, neighborhood, and project-specific levels. To address some of the risks that are specific to the Southern California region, and to capitalize on some of the opportunities that come with transit-oriented development, this guide specifically focuses on laws affecting affordable housing and regional and local planning, zoning, and land disposition policies. Additionally, although this guide discusses tools available throughout Southern California, it also specifically identifies opportunities in the City and County of Los Angeles.
Affordable housing, jobs, and transportation infrastructure are central elements of urban planning that have the potential for great synergies if considered comprehensively. Transit- accessible affordable housing can help alleviate the combined housing and transportation burden that many Atlantans face and provide better accessibility to employment opportunities.
The region’s upcoming Transportation Investment Act (TIA) vote provides an impetus to study these issues and determine how this potential infrastructure investment could influence the supply of mixed-income transit-oriented developments (MITOD) that provide affordable housing and increase connections to jobs.
The two research questions being explored are: What are the current housing and employment characteristics near MARTA rail stations and the proposed transit routes identified in the TIA? Where might opportunities exist to preserve affordable housing and develop MITOD? The analysis utilizes spatial analysis…
TCRP Report 153: Guidelines for Providing Access to Public Transportation Stations provides a process and spreadsheet-based tool for effectively planning for access to high capacity transit stations, including commuter rail, heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit (BRT), and ferry. The report is accompanied by a CD that includes the station access planning spreadsheet tool that allows trade-off analyses among the various access modes (automobile, transit, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit-oriented development) for different station types. The potential effectiveness of transit-oriented development opportunities to increase transit ridership is also assessed.
This report and accompanying materials are intended to aid the many groups involved in planning, developing, and improving access to high capacity transit stations, including public transportation and highway agencies, planners, developers, and…