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Performance-Based Transit-Oriented Development Typology Guidebook

Center for Transit-Oriented Development releases user-friendly tool to evaluate the performance of the transit zones

Today the Center for Transit-Oriented Development released its "Performance-Based Transit-Oriented Development Typology Guidebook,” a hands-on tool for identifying the different conditions that exist around transit stations and determining how that influences performance on a range of metrics.

"The compositions of our communities and the quality of transit have a great influence on how people choose to get around and the choices they have in their daily lives," said Sam Zimbabwe, director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD). "The Performance-Based TOD Typology is a user-friendly tool that gives interested people around the country the ability to evaluate the performance of the transit zones in their neighborhoods and towns."

Whether working locally or regionally, the guidebook provides easy to understand information to help guide efforts to create high-quality TOD that reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT), a significant generator of our national greenhouse gas emissions, as well as creating a host of community benefits. The guidebook builds off of the TOD Database, a web tool released in October that provides economic and demographic information for every existing and proposed fixed-guideway transit station in the United States. (See URLs for the report below.)

"The analysis in this guidebook utilizes CTOD’s National TOD Database to take existing conditions from more than 3,700 existing transit station areas in 39 regions across the country," explained Linda Young, Research Director at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a CTOD partner. “This means the performance metrics are based on real data from communities around the United States.”

In the past, mismatched decision-making structures, uncertain outcomes, and a lack of a common framework for measuring performance have been stumbling blocks in attempts to use TOD to address climate change and community development goals simultaneously. The Performance-Based TOD Typology gives stakeholders the ability to evaluate the performance of the transit zones in their neighborhoods.

This guidebook will be of use to policy makers, planners, employers, and residents interested in matters related to transit ridership, climate change, economic development, affordable housing, urban design, or other issues linked to transportation, employment, and place.

While this tool could be useful in guiding future planning decisions by a variety of stakeholders, there are three specific groups who could most readily use it to affect decision-making:

  • At the federal and state level, agencies can use the tool to inform funding and investment policies and in regional planning and decision-making.
  • At the regional level, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, transit agencies, and other stakeholders can use this tool to guide corridor planning and regional investments in housing and transportation.
  • At the local and neighborhood level, cities, community-based organizations and other stakeholders can use this tool to inform local planning decisions from long range plans to affordable housing locations.

The Performance-Based Transit-Oriented Development Typology Guidebook includes detailed case studies from Los Angeles, CA; Oak Park, IL; West Irving, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Berkeley, CA; Gresham, OR; Jersey City, NJ; Atlanta, GA; and Rockville, MD. Each case study serves as an example of one of the different place types and acts as a template for stakeholders to create their own existing conditions analysis.