Business/Commerce

Create Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

TOD is a compact, high-density, mixed-use development benefiting from its proximity to transit by supporting transit use, walking, and cycling.

Guidance
  • Create a strategic station-area development plan incorporating public input, and ideally backed by existing zoning regulations that recognize TOD principles
  • Where existing regulations do not encourage TOD, proposed zoning exemptions could include reduced parking minimums, suggested densities of 30 dwelling units per residential acre, mandatory bicycle parking, density bonuses for affordable housing, or expedited entitlement reviews
  • Market TOD projects to the lending community by highlighting their market viability and development designs that feature direct, safe, and appealing connections to transit
Benefits
  • Creates walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods
  • Reduces automobile dependence
  • Expands transportation options
  • Reduces traffic congestion
  • Increases transit ridership
  • Reduces combined housing and transportation cost burden for households
  • Potentially revitalizes neighborhoods
Considerations
  • Higher square-footage costs and lending requirements for in-fill development
  • Existing zoning policies that hinder TOD projects
  • Local opposition to nearby higher-density developments
  • Coordinating between transit agencies and developers
  • Accommodating park-and-ride, bus service, and rail service without compromising pedestrian access and safety
  • Negotiating reduced parking needs of TOD residents with increased parking demands of park-and–ride transit users
Where to Use It
  • Fixed-rail and bus-rapid-transit nodes
  • High-frequency bus-transit nodes
  • Ferry landings
Professional Consensus
  • TCRP Report 102: Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects
Examples

Many US cities and counties have adopted transit-oriented development concepts, including:

This material is the product of a partnership between America Walks and Sam Schwartz Engineering. Visit here for more information on the partnership.