Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is the creation of compact, walkable, pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use communities centered around high quality transit.

Benefits of TOD

TOD can provide many benefits to the community in which it’s located, including: increased transit ridership, economic development, diverse transportation choices, stable property values, and reduced air pollution.

“One of the primary benefits of joint development is revenue generation for the transit system, such as income derived from rental or lease payments, as well as private sector contributions to public infrastructure. Other benefits include shared costs, efficient land use, reduced distance between transportation and other activities, economic development, increased transit ridership, and improved transit connectivity.” – Federal Transit Administration Guidance on Joint Development (2014)

Research shows that TOD results in higher levels of transit ridership, fewer automobile trips, and lower car ownership rates than other types of development.

Our Role in Development

Investments in TOD enable the agency to generate ridership from new uses and revenue from real estate. These guidelines can help us play three important roles in the coming years:

1. As a sponsor for joint development (projects built on our property or connected physically or functionally to a busway or light rail station).

2. As a stakeholder for any development occurring within the “zone of influence” of current or future stations (1/2 mile around station, roughly the same area as a walkshed),
As an advocate for sustainable land use decisions along all of the region’s transit corridors, whether undertaken by us or others, as our regional transit network grows.

3. As the service provider and property owner, we are primarily responsible for improvements to its stations. In general, TOD (i.e., a developer’s responsibility) begins at the edge of the station itself and continues into the community.

While we will use the concepts to guide any improvements to its stations, the TOD Guidelines document is intended to provide guidance on TOD projects, which act as gateways to transit stations given their proximity.

TOD Guidelines

Our Transit Oriented Development guidelines are meant to provide the entire community of TOD stakeholders – transit agencies, local governments, regional planners, community groups, developers, and others – with a common vocabulary and frame of reference.

The guidelines contain what we consider to be best practice standards for TOD, based on local and national research.

We will strive to achieve the outcomes to the best of our ability and expects development partners, private developers, and community developers to do the same.

We will work with local governments where possible to facilitate these best practices. The guidelines are intended to facilitate the implementation of existing community-supported planning and provide guidance where new planning occurs.


TOD in Allegheny County: A Five-year Evaluation

Our Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) Program has undertaken an evaluation of transit-oriented development (TOD) in the initial period of the agency's TOD efforts.

The below document outlines those findings and resulting recommendations of how our TOD activities can maximize positive impacts going forward.