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Transit-Oriented Development

Transit-oriented development (TOD) creates compact, mixed-use communities near transit where people enjoy easy access to jobs and services. Well-done TOD connects transit to desirable places to live, work and visit that feature amenities like entertainment venues, parks, retail, restaurants, an improved pedestrian environment and diverse housing choices.

Focusing growth around transit stations capitalizes on public investments in transit and provides many benefits, including:

  • increased ridership and associated revenue gains for transit systems
  • revitalization of neighborhoods
  • a larger supply of affordable housing
  • economic returns to surrounding landowners and businesses
  • congestion relief
  • improved safety for pedestrians and cyclists

Some may confuse TOD with Joint Development (JD). Both TOD and JD refer to the development of real property near public transportation. However, TOD refers to neighborhood-scale, compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of public transportation while JD refers to the development of real property purchased with FTA funds.

FTA Technical Assistance

To encourage successful TOD projects in communities across the country, FTA has launched the Transit-Oriented Development Technical Assistance Initiative. FTA engaged Smart Growth America (SGA) to advance TOD through technical assistance, including providing planning and analysis tools, maintaining a comprehensive online database of TOD information, and establishing a peer-to-peer information exchange. SGA also will offer in-depth technical assistance on TOD – from effective zoning and land use to securing advantageous commercial development – to communities through a comprehensive selection process. See the list of 2017 communities selected to receive technical assistance.

Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning 

The Pilot Program for TOD Planning helps support FTA’s mission of improving public transportation for America’s communities by providing funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with a transit capital investment that will seek funding through the Capital Investment Grant Program (CIG) Program. Comprehensive planning funded through the program must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations.

TOD Research & Publications

This list of resources includes FTA funded research and research sponsored by non-profits and other stakeholder groups.

TOD in Statute and Regulation

Although transit-oriented development and joint development are not discrete programs of the U.S. Department of Transportation, FTA grantees may use FTA financial assistance for joint development activities that incorporate private investment or enhance economic development.

TOD Training

This list of training and resources includes FTA funded webinars, online tools, and training course, and related efforts sponsored by other federal agencies and non-profits and other stakeholder groups.

Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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