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  • Evolution of TOD  Transit lines proved to be integral in building up cities in America in the 1800s and 1900s.  But with the wide use of the automobile in the 20th century, cities faced the problem of populations dwindling due to urban sprawl to suburb areas.  When this happened, commute time and distance rose, pollution increased and more recently, there has been a growth in obesity rates. But areas across the country are starting to see growth due to a concept becoming more widely regarded: transit oriented development.  Read more in this article on the evolution of TOD  (Mass Transit magazine, July/August 2012, Joseph Petrie).

Case Studies

  • St. Louis MetroLink TOD Study– East West Gateway Council of Governments has provided a study on TOD in St. Louis, looking at what has inhibited Transit Oriented Development around the 37 MetroLink stations,  and identifying what can be done to remove these barriers (October 2012).  They have since developed 5 station area TOD plans, released in 2013.  You will find them here.
  • Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development – This report provides information about funding mechanisms and strategies that communities can use to provide innovative financing options for TOD. It explains dozens of tools that provide traditional financing as well as new tools.
  • Transforming Cities With Transit – Published by the World Bank, this report contains a wealth of case studies documenting the successes, but also the trials and tribulations, that come with integrating transit and land use. The report is a one-stop source (or maybe a one-seat ride) of “best-case experiences,” both for rail–Copenhagen, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, DC–and for bus rapid transit–Curitiba and Ottawa. The report also provides in-depth examinations of more recent transit metros in the making, covering Ahmedabad, India; Bogota, Columbia; Guangzhou, China; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A chapter dedicated to overcoming barriers to integration completes the report. One of many interesting conclusions: metros tend to achieve more when the land use vision leads and transit is used as a means to an end.
  • Maximizing the Benefits of Transitway Investment – A product of research conducted at the University of Minnesota and focused on the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region, the report showcases analysis methods and offers recommendations that will be useful in other regions too. Access to jobs takes center stage, as the researchers tie the region’s economic future to its ability to increase the number of jobs located near high-frequency transit service.
  • Connecting to Opportunity: Access to Jobs via Transit in the Washington, D.C. Region – A Brookings reportbenchmarking the ability of employers in American metro regions to tap into labor pools via transit. Among the conclusions for the Washington, DC Region: “Transit does a better job providing high-skill residents access to high-skill jobs than it does mid-skill residents to mid skill jobs and low-skill residents to low-skill jobs.”
  • Midsize Cities on the Move – This report by Reconnecting America explores 14 mid-size cities developing significant bus or streetcar projects. The report covers the role of partnerships, including with the business community, and funding sources. Finding that 12 of the 14 transit projects were developed as strategies to reach land use goals, the report provides an in-depth look at how local leaders are approaching integrating transit and development objectives. The authors conclude with ten recommendations that offer a solid playbook of best practices for transit leaders in mid-size cities.
  • TOD in the States – The National Conference of State Legislatures documents how state-level action, including legislation, can be used to define TOD, assemble land, address zoning, catalyze investment, and fund development. The report explores the role of state government in supporting transit and TOD. The report includes case studies from Utah, Minnesota, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and California.
  • Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tackles the difficult and specialized challenge of coming up with the means to pay for the sidewalks, bike lanes, streetscapes, stormwater management, and other utilities needed to support TOD. This comprehensive report examines direct fees, debt, credit assistance, equity, value capture, grants, and several “emerging tools” such as structured funds and land banks. Eleven case studies show how communities are finding success by combining funding and financing options to create strategies.
  • Trip Generation Tool for Mixed-Use Development – This report by the EPA takes on another critical component of compact development: analyzing the traffic generated by new development when not every trip is by car. Created in cooperation with the Institute of Transportation Engineers, the EPA developed new models that take into account “internal capture” and pedestrian and transit trips. The website documents the new methods, but also includes the models in spreadsheet form for immediate use!
  • Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit– This report, by Enterprise, The National Housing Trust & Reconnecting America, presents case studies from Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and provides key findings, along with strategies and resources for preserving affordable housing near transit and aligning the two more closely.
  • Best Practices in TOD This report documents the first task in the process: a survey of best practices for facilitating successful TOD, as employed by other agencies, to be used as a basis for developing guidelines.
  • Form- Based Code Best Practices Report This report gives an overview of best practice standards for Form-Based Code writing and application. It includes descriptions of what Form-Based Code is and summaries of case studies who have used this code.
  • TOD Case Studies: Implementation in Low-income, Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods These case studies, funded through the support of the Surdna Foundation, present transit-oriented development (TOD) examples from diverse, low-income neighborhoods around transit, all built within the last 10 years. Each case study provides the demographic and income breakdown of the station area, as well as information on the region as a whole. (January 2007)
  • Policy, Planning, and Major Projects -Station Area Planning, 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 make most sense for the city and its neighborhoods.
  • Preserving Affordable Housing Near Transit, This report is designed to help community leaders, community development corporations (CDCs) and nonprofit affordable housing developers engage in preserving affordable housing near transit.  It describes ways in which metropolitan areas are addressing preservation challenges and opportunities, and identifies the strategies and tools communities can use to preserve affordable housing in transit-rich neighborhoods. The study focuses on four metropolitan areas with current commitments to expand transit service: Atlanta, Denver, Seattle and Washington, D.C. (2010)
  • Rail Transit Works, Case studies of nine metropolitan areas across the country show that urban rail lines—whether light rail or heavy rail—carry more passengers than projected and can play a role in making cities stronger economic and residential centers. (Spring 2003)
  • Making the Connection: Transit Oriented Development and Jobs, This article looks at the ways TOD can serve the needs of working families—particularly those with low and moderate income—by providing affordable housing and/or better access to jobs. This is done through an examination of 25 TOD projects around the country that to varying degrees meet the housing and employment needs of those with limited means. (March 2006)
  • Transit Oriented Development: Best Practice,This report documents the first task in the process: a survey of best practices for facilitating successful TOD, as employed by other agencies, to be used as a basis for developing guidelines for GCRTA. This “Lessons Learned” methodology offers the opportunity to utilize the most effective guidelines, without repeating the time- and money-consuming processes of attempting all approaches. The TOD practices of the following seven transit agencies were investigated and are documented within this report: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority (VTA); Dallas Area Rapid Transit (Dallas, TX); Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (Boston, MA); Metro (Baltimore, MD); Metro (St. Louis, MO); Tri-Met (Portland, OR); and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Washington, DC).
  • Economic Development and Smart Growth, These case studies range from the use of transit-oriented development in Portland Oregon, where light rail has sparked $3 billion in new development, to commercial corridor revitalization in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where it has nearly doubled the per capita income in the south side of the city. (August 2006)
  • Transit Oriented Development: Canadian Case Studies, By examining 10 recent examples of transit-oriented developments (TODs) in cities across Canada, these case studies provide lessons for future TODs. By interviewing key players and surveying occupants, the study examines the factors contributing to successful projects and the challenges faced by both private developers and public agencies in carrying them out. (November 2009)
  • Encouraging Transit Oriented Development Case Studies of Tools That Work, This document is a short summary of the TOD tools that are used by communities all across the country. Ten tools have been selected by the Center for Transit Oriented Development and Reconnecting America to represent the best and most relevant ideas for the Phoenix metropolitan areas in promoting TOD and ensuring that the investments made over last decade will spur additional development and support for this growing transit system. (March 2009)
  • Lessons Learned from the Passage of Proposition A, April 2010This study, formulated by Todd Swanstrom, David Kimball, Tom Shrout, and with the assistance of Laura Wiedlocher, takes a look at the April 2010 passage of Prop A, which allowed for the ½ cent sales tax that now raises about $75 million a year to maintain the bus system and expand light rail.  This was a huge milestone seeing as just 17 months prior, the same measure known as Prop M was voted down (March 2011).
  • Regional Organizational Models for Public Transportation, TCRP Project J-11 / Task 10  This study was conducted for the American Public Transportation Association, with funding provided through the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project J-11, Quick-Response Research on Long-Term Strategic Issues.  Over the last five decades, population growth and travel demand patterns have fueled the need for transit services in suburban and rural areas and across jurisdictional boundaries.  New governance models have been created to better address regional transit planning and operating needs.  This study examines the processes of governance transformation that have been employed to respond to the opportunities for and challenges to providing regional public transportation.
  • Transit-Oriented and Joint Development: Case Studies and Legal Issues – Legal Research Digest 36 (August 2011) TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Legal Research Digest 36: Transit-Oriented and Joint Development: Case Studies and Legal Issues examines a combination of large, medium, and small Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) and joint development projects since 1999 and provides comprehensive case studies, with an emphasis on what made the project succeed and how legal issues relate to TODs in general.
  • Honolulu High Capacity Transit Project Urban Design Guidelines” – Parsons Brinckerhoff’s, PlaceMaking Group. The coming of high-capacity transit (HCT) to Honolulu represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to capture the community building and people moving benefits of this major investment in Honolulu’s future. HCT represents the largest new transportation infrastructure project on O’ahu since the construction of the interstate highway system (July 2009).

Webinars & Presentations

  • Ten Principles for Successful Development Around Transit” – Urban Land Institute put together this presentation to help developers understand how to successfully implement development around transit centers, such as bus and rail stations. It includes the following topics: the vision, partnerships, understanding the needs of the developer, parking, creating a sense of place, mixing uses, price points, and taking advantage of changes in corporate culture.
  • A New Planning Template for Transit-Oriented Development” – Mineta Transportation Institute Publication written by Dick Nelson, John Niles, and Aharon Hibshoosh. Abstract: The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San José State University assigned a project team to design a planning template for transit-oriented development (TOD) that incorporates an understanding of nonwork travel, that is, trips for shopping, eating out, and engaging in recreational and cultural activities (September 2001).

White  Papers

  • FORM BASED CODE in the St. Louis Region. Citizens for Modern Transit released a policy brief on the introduction of form based code around transit to the St. Louis Region.  Resources included in the brief are two draft overlay zoning codes – one for the City of Pagedale and one for the for City of St. Louis.
  • Filling the Financing Gap for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

    Enterprise Community Partners, Living Cities, and the Low Income Investment Fund studied four regions to identify ways to make equitable TOD easier to finance and build. The writers looked at – Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis-St. Paul and the San Francisco Bay Area — to identify systematic financing gaps and to recommend capital and policy solutions.
  • Downtowns, Greenfields and Places In Between; Promoting Development Near Transit – The Center for Transit Oriented Development released a report that examines 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.



  • Impacts of Cuts and Reductions in Public Transportation Funding -The final report on a study by the American Public Transit Association (APTA) examining the impact of the recent recession on public transit budgets in the United States and how those cuts have affected residents and workers. St. Louis, Missouri is one of five case study areas chosen for the study.


  • Mixed-Income Housing Near Transit-The Center for Transit-Oriented Development has put forth this guidebook as one in a series of guidebooks due to the common mindset that communities which are filled with mixed-income housing produce heightened economic, social and environmental outcomes for all residents.
  • Midsize Cities on the Move-this report from Reconnecting America takes a look at transit in midsize cities (50,000 to 250,000 in population) across the U.S.  “Midsize cities are a stand-alone group, with their own unique set of amenities and challenges. Yet, like their larger and smaller counterparts, they too have invested in the development of transit systems to serve their communities.”  (December 2012)
  • The Effects of the Announcement and Opening of Light Rail Transit Stations on Neighborhood Crime-from The Journal of Urban Affairs Association:  The debate over crime and rail transit focuses on whether such investments “breed” criminal activities with new targets of opportunity or transport crime from the inner city to the suburbs. Yet, little empirical evidence exists on whether new rail transit actually does lead to increased crime rates around stations. In order to study this question, this study tests the relationship between crime and rail transit with the 2007 opening of the Charlotte light rail line, CATS (2011)
  • St. Louis County Housing Study  from St. Louis County Department of Planning for East West Gateway Council of Governments presentation (May 2012)
  • Los Angeles and the Case for Transit-Oriented Development (Part 1 of 3) – An introductory look at Metro in Los Angeles and its role in moving TOD forward in the area, by Joel Epstein
  • Los Angeles and the Case for Transit-Oriented Development: TOD Since the Red Line (Part 2) – Epstein looks at the history of TOD on the Red Line in L.A.
  • Los Angeles and the Case for Transit-Oriented Development: Building and Funding TOD (Part 3) – Epstein explores what L.A. needs to do to embrace true TOD (May 2012)
  • ULI 10 Strategies for Investing near Transit – Lessons learned from the San Francisco Bay Area (December 2011)
  • Alternative to Traditional Zoning: Form-Based Code“-According to the Form-Based Codes Institute, “Form-based codes foster predictable built results and a high-quality public realm by using physical form (rather than separation of uses) as the organizing principle for the code. They are regulations, not mere guidelines, adopted into city or county law. Form-based codes offer a powerful alternative to conventional zoning.”
  • The Effects of the Announcement and Opening of Light Rail Transit Stations on Neighborhood Crime” – Journal of Urban Affairs, Stephen B. Billings, Suzanne Leland, David Swindell.The debate over crime and rail transit focuses on whether such investments “breed” criminal activities with new targets of opportunity or transport crime from the inner city to the suburbs. Yet, little empirical evidence exists on whether new rail transit actually does lead to increased crime rates around stations. In order to study this question, we test the relationship between crime and rail transit with the 2007 opening of the Charlotte light rail line.
  • Transit Sustainability Guidelines: Framework for Approaching Sustainability and Overview of Best Practices” – The American Public Transit Association (APTA).  This Recommended Practice introduces guidelines for designing and operating sustainable transit that both reduces a community’s environmental footprint from transportation and enhances its quality of life by making travel more enjoyable, affordable and timely. (March 2011)
  • Recent Lessons from the Stimulus: Transportation Funding and Job Creation”  – Smart America Growth analyzes states’ investments in infrastructure to determine whether they made the best use of their spending based on job creation numbers. This report evaluates how successful states have been in creating jobs with their flexible $26.6 billion of transportation funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). Those results should guide governors and other leaders in revitalizing America’s transportation system, maximizing job creation from transportation dollars and rebuilding the economy. (February, 2011)
  • ST. LOUIS TOD SWOT ANALYSIS  Citizens for Modern Transit and Des Lee Collaborative Vision  look at a TOD SWOT analysis of the St. Louis region.   At present, there are no full-fledged examples of TOD in the area, defined as mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, higher-density developments with quality public spaces oriented around transit stations. (October, 2010)

  • Breaking Down Policy Silos: Transportation, Economic Development and Health in Healthy, Equitable Transportation Policy Recommendations and Research, edited by Shireen Malekafzali (PolicyLink, Prevention Institute, and Convergence Partnership, 2009) Dr. Todd Swanstrom, at the University Missouri- St. Louis, discusses the advantages of putting workforce housing in TODs.

  • Light-Rail Transit in America – Policy Issues and Prospects for  Economic Development” This report from the Federal Reserve – St. Louis contains an empirical analysis of the MetroLink light-rail system in St. Louis. Specifically, the analysis looks at the effect of MetroLink on residential property
    values in St. Louis County. (August 2004)
  • Effects of Light and Commuter Rail Transit on Land Prices: Experiences in San Diego County” – Robert Cervero. Using hedonic price models, appreciable land-value premiums were found for multiple land uses in different rail corridors of San Diego County. (May 2003)

Surveys & Polls

    • Reason-Rupe Transportation Public Opinion SurveyWinter 2011 Topline Results” – Reason-Rupe public opinion conducted a telephone survey of 1,200 adults nationwide and asked them about a range of transportation issues. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. The poll was conducted for Reason Foundation by NSON Opinion Strategy. This is part of a series of Reason-Rupe public opinion surveys dedicated to exploring what Americans really think about government and major issues. (December 2011)

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