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Summarizing What It Takes To Make TOD Attractive

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The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has produced a two-page summary to accompany its 50-page briefing book for city planners and managers entitled, "Choosing Where We Live: Attracting Residents to Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods in the San Francisco Bay Area."

The briefing book was the outgrowth of a year-long study that examined what attracts home-seekers to transit-oriented development in the San Francisco Bay Area. The goal of the briefing book and the two-page summary is to help planners improve transit-oriented development projects to maximize their potential to attract residents.

"Local Bay Area jurisdictions are increasingly looking to create vibrant, transit-oriented developments as means of achieving a vision for more livable communities and addressing greenhouse gas legislation (SB 375 and AB 32)," the summary explains. "To be successful, they will need to attract new residents interested in living in higher density, compact environments and will need to understand what these individuals are looking for in their homes and neighborhoods."

The survey grouped Bay Area residents into nine market segments that range from the least likely to be attracted to transit-oriented developments -- high income suburbanites -- to the most likely -- transit-preferring individuals.

"Linking attitudes about what makes a place desirable to live, with information such as age, education, number of children and number of vehicles, we defined market segments. We then grouped them based on potential interest in TOD," the summary explains.

In order of likelihood to be attracted to transit-oriented development, the segments are:

  • Transit-Preferring: They rate access to high-quality transit as among the most important criteria in home selection.
  • Urban DINKS (Double Income No Kids): They want to minimize travel, and want access to high-quality transit and regional centers.
  • Young Brainiacs: They value safe and convenient walking and bicycling, and quality transit.
  • Ambitious Urbanites: They value many community attributes, including school quality, minimizing travel, quality transit and driving.
  • Mellow Couples: They value a quiet and clean neighborhood and walking to do errands.

The summary lists the Top 5 attributes of desirable neighborhoods and strategies to attract target market segments.

Download the summary here or visit the commission's website at

The full report is available in the Best Practices and the commission's website.