Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) refers to a suite of tools aimed toward focusing more intensive development of housing, employment, and services in areas with good access to high-capacity transit. “Good access” is typically defined as an area within a comfortable walking distance (a quarter to half mile radius) of a transit station. To aspire to the goals of TOD, these areas should feature a mix of uses, compact development, limited parking, and pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly design.
Transit-Supportive Development is a separate, related term referring broadly to development patterns on the neighborhood and transit corridor scale that facilitate transit and decrease the need for cars. This differs from TOD in that TOD is focused on individual nodes.
To preserve affordability in transit station areas, cities can utilize TOD overlay zones and similar strategies to target usage of other tools like inclusionary zoning/density bonuses, multifamily tax exemptions, and parking reductions.
Where it Works
Cities should consider TOD principles for areas within a comfortable walking distance of a high capacity transit station, typically a quarter- to half-mile radius. High capacity transit includes light rail, bus rapid transit, and more.
Assessing Needs and Measuring Performance
- Transit ridership
- Current permitted densities vs. transit-supportive densities
- Commercial and residential TOD demand estimates
- Housing and transportation costs in transit station areas
- Employment in transit station areas
- The Center for Transit-Oriented Development: Mixed Income Transit-Oriented Development Action Guide
- HousingPolicy.org: Promote Sustainable and Equitable Development Overview
- MRSC: Transit-Oriented Development
- PSRC: Growing Transit Communities
- PSRC: Transit-Oriented Development
- PSRC: Transit-Supportive Densities and Land Uses
- PSRC: Transit-Supportive Planning Toolkit