During the past two decades, transit-oriented development (TOD) has emerged as a powerful tool for creating liveable communities near good public transit through the development of dense housing, work places, retail and other community amenities. As demand for liveable communities grows, land values near transit increase, which can sometimes lead to gentrification. Recently, a particular approach to TOD has been gaining greater attention: equitable TOD.
Equitable TOD prioritizes social equity as a key component of TOD implementation. It aims to ensure that all people along a transit corridor, including those who are low income, have the opportunity to reap the benefits of easy access to employment opportunities offering living wages, health clinics, fresh food markets, human services, schools and childcare centers. By developing or preserving affordable housing and encouraging locating jobs near transit, equitable TOD can minimize the burden of housing and transportation…
The federal government, through various transportation acts, such as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and, more recently, the Safe, Affordable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), has reinforced the need for integration of land use and transportation and the provision of public transit. Other federal programs, such as the Livable Communities Program and the New Starts Program, have provided additional impetus to public transit. At the state and regional level, the past three decades have seen increased provision of public transit. However, the public transit systems typically require significant operating and capital subsidies—75 percent of transit funding is provided by local and state governments.1 With all levels of government under significant fiscal stress, new transit funding mechanisms are welcome. Value capture (VC) is once…
Affordable housing, jobs, and transportation infrastructure are central elements of urban planning that have the potential for great synergies if considered comprehensively. Transit- accessible affordable housing can help alleviate the combined housing and transportation burden that many Atlantans face and provide better accessibility to employment opportunities.
The region’s upcoming Transportation Investment Act (TIA) vote provides an impetus to study these issues and determine how this potential infrastructure investment could influence the supply of mixed-income transit-oriented developments (MITOD) that provide affordable housing and increase connections to jobs.
The two research questions being explored are: What are the current housing and employment characteristics near MARTA rail stations and the proposed transit routes identified in the TIA? Where might opportunities exist to preserve affordable housing and develop MITOD? The analysis utilizes spatial analysis…
There is a growing body of evidence, including earlier Mineta Transportation Institute-sponsored research, showing that multi-destination transit systems are far more effective in attracting passengers and more efficient in use of resources to carry each passenger than central business district (CBD)-focused systems. At the same time, however, evidence is beginning to show that multi-destination transit systems appeal largely to transit-dependent riders (also called captive riders), whose demand for transit service appears to be highly elastic with respect to the shortening of transit travel time between origin and destination. Given the interest in using transit investments to lure people from their automobiles in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce congestion, it is imperative that the appeal of such systems to choice riders (also called discretionary riders) also be understood. However, this issue remains as yet relatively unexplored.
In recent decades, some cities have seen their urban centers lose population density, as residents spread farther out to suburbs and exurbs. Others have kept populous downtowns even as their environs have grown. Population density in general has economic advantages, so one might wonder whether a loss of density, which may be a symptom of negative economic shocks, could amplify those shocks. This paper looks at four decades of census data and show that growing cities have maintained dense urban centers, while shrinking cities have not. There are reasons to think that loss of population density at the core of the city could be particularly damaging to productivity. If this is the case, there could be productivity gains from policies aimed at reversing that trend.
Historically, many regional transit systems were designed in a “hub and spoke” pattern, focusing on moving residents from relatively low-density residential communities to a single high-density employment center – typically the region’s historic central business district (CBD). In general, these systems have worked well for those workers with jobs in central cities. The effectiveness of this kind of system hinges directly on the density of the jobs co-located in close proximity to each other and within a short distance of transit stations.
Although CBDs and downtowns remain important regional employment locations, American cities have experienced significant decentralization over the last 60 years, as job centers have shifted from urban downtowns to suburban communities. This “employment sprawl” has helped to generate much of the traffic congestion experienced across regions today, contributing to over 100 billion dollars in lost time and fuel every…
This thesis analyzes an on-board transit survey conducted by the Atlanta Regional Commission in order to determine how far urban density, mixed land-uses, and street network connectivity are related to different walking behaviors, namely transit walk-mode shares and walking distances to/from stations. The data are drawn from all the stations of Atlanta’s rapid transit network (MARTA).
Allowing for quite a bit of noise in the data, some of the findings confirm for the case of Atlanta what a review of existing literature would lead one to expect: mixed land-use and denser street networks are associated with higher proportion of riders traveling to/from the station “walking” (noise in the data does not allow to fully distinguish with certainty walking as the sole mode of access to/from the station from walking combined with the use of bus services).
The thesis also explores questions that have not been previously covered systematically in the literature. First, does urban…
A livable community has affordable and appropriate housing, supportive features and services, and adequate mobility options for people, regardless of age or ability. As communities address the general shortage of affordable housing, preserving affordable housing in transit-oriented developments (TODs) is one of the challenges that communities can address to increase their livability.
TODs are compact, walkable, mixed-use communities that are developed around high-quality public transportation. Residents often prize these places for the advantages created by the proximity to transportation and other amenities. One consequence of this desirability is that it can increase land and property values, exacerbating housing affordability challenges.
As policymakers try to extend the benefits of TODs to affordable housing locations, they must ensure that those benefits are available to people of low and moderate incomes and to those with different mobility…
This study examines the impact of street network connectivity on transit patronage. The aim is to better understand how connectivity affects the decision to use public transportation after we control for population density and the effect of walking distance from the transit station. Data on population densities, transit service features, and annual average daily station boardings are drawn from Chicago (CTA), Dallas (DART), and Atlanta (MARTA). Results suggest that metric reach, which measures the street length that is accessible within a walking range, has significant impact on ridership levels jointly with population density and two attributes of transit service features. In particular, the estimates indicate that metric reach is a stronger predictor of transit use than station area population densities.