Low-income workers face multiple barriers to advancement
Moving to Work examines the critical role of transit - as well as development clustered around transit (TOD) - in linking low-income communities with career-ladder opportunities
Reconnecting America with Urban Habitat and support from the Great Communities Collaborative today released the findings and recommendations from a year and a half long project: Moving to Work in the Bay Area, a study of the barriers that low-income workers in the Bay Area face to accessing economic opportunity.
The study found that while low-income workers in the Bay Area face multiple barriers to career advancement, the economic and workforce development fields often overlook a key barrier for low-income workers: transit access. In turn, transit advocates often overlook the importance of job creation and training to building a stronger Bay Area economy as well as…
Transit-oriented development (TOD) – typically defined as compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of a transit station – has emerged in recent years as a key strategy for fostering quality neighborhoods and reducing auto dependence. Despite the emphasis on TOD in many policy discussions, however, only limited information is available to help communities understand the likely development impacts of new transit investments. This report builds on a 2010 study by the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD), Rails to Real Estate: Development Patterns along Three Recently Constructed Rail Lines, to examine the opportunities and challenges involved in promoting TOD in different types of neighborhoods, and the strategies that may be appropriate to catalyze TOD depending on the neighborhood context. By examining development patterns and public investment strategies through the lens of “development context” or “neighborhood type,” this report…
We all remember being a child on what seemed like an endless journey to grandma’s house or the Grand Canyon and asking “Are we there yet?” In America’s cities and towns, we are having one of those “Are we there yet?” moments — although it seems the GPS is malfunctioning and we have lost the ability to chart a course toward our future.
What does “there” look like? How will we know when we are “there”? What are the critical investments we need to make in order to strengthen our regional economies and ensure that America remains globally competitive? What are the attributes of communities and regions that help the people who live and work there succeed? How can we ensure that every child – regardless of what zip code they are born into or the color of their skin — has access to opportunities to improve their lives and contribute to America’s prosperity?
America is confronting serious issues in this second decade of the 21st century: The gap…
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…
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…
High unemployment rates and slow employment growth continue to threaten our economy. Once-successful sectors are in decline. Even the workplace itself is in transition. New technologies and ways of working have disrupted everything from the speed of a typical product cycle to the amount of real estate a company needs.
In recent decades, some cities have seen their urban centers lose population density, as residents spread farther out to suburbs and exurbs. Others have kept populous downtowns even as their environs have grown. Population density in general has economic advantages, so one might wonder whether a loss of density, which may be a symptom of negative economic shocks, could amplify those shocks. This paper looks at four decades of census data and show that growing cities have maintained dense urban centers, while shrinking cities have not. There are reasons to think that loss of population density at the core of the city could be particularly damaging to productivity. If this is the case, there could be productivity gains from policies aimed at reversing that trend.
Two goals in Translink’s Transport 2040 strategy are to have most trips in the region occur by walking, cycling and transit and to have the majority of jobs and housing in the region located along the Frequent Transit Network . Since the built environment is a major determinant of travel demand and mode choice, achieving these goals will require the creation of more transit-oriented communities – places that, by their very design, invite people to drive their cars less and walk, cycle and take transit more as no single agency or organization in the Metro Vancouver region has the mandate or capacity to address all of the various inter-dependent components needed to create transit-oriented communities, this effort will necessarily be a collaborative one between Translink, Metro Vancouver, local municipalities, and the private sector, as well as the wider public . This literature review provides a research foundation from which to facilitate this important regional…
It is broadly accepted that fairly dense urban development is an essential feature of a successful public transit system. However going beyond this generality to specific guidelines on where, when, and by how much to increase urban densities is never easy. This paper investigates the relationship between transit and urban densities in the United States from multiple perspectives. While empirical evidence suggests that recent-generation rail investments in the U.S. have in many instances conferred net social benefits, considerable skepticism remains, particularly among the more vocal critics of American transit policy. All sides agree that increasing urban densities will place public transit on firmer financial footing. Our analysis suggests that light-rail systems need around 30 people per gross acre around stations and heavy rail systems need 50 percent higher densities than this to place them in the top one-quarter of cost-effective rail investments in the U.S. The…
Why This Book?
The importance of Planning for TOD at the regional Scale
Transit-Oriented Development, or TOD, is typically understood to be a mix of housing, retail and/or commercial development and amenities — referred to as “mixed-use development” — in a walkable neighborhood with high-quality public transportation. To learn the basics of TOD, see the first book in this series, TOD 101: Why TOD and Why Now?
Building successful TOD requires thinking beyond the individual station and understanding the role each neighborhood and station area plays in the regional network of transit-oriented places. It also requires an understanding of the real estate market, major employment centers, and travel patterns in the region. Regional planning for successful TOD projects is really about the coordination of existing plans for growth, transit, housing and jobs, as well as programs and policies at all levels of government.
Coordinating all these TOD…