Public transit agencies have employed intelligent systems for determining schedules and routes and for monitoring the real-time location and status of their vehicle fleets for nearly two decades. But until recently, the data generated by daily operations in the transit system were only available to managers and engineers inside agencies. Transit riders could consult static information when planning trips, primarily through printed or online timetables or maps. Where dynamic train or bus arrival predictions were accessible, riders could only see this information on fixed signs at transit stations or stops. With the popular adoption of smartphones and other mobile technologies transit riders gained the capacity to access information anywhere and at any time. Some transit agencies have responded by publicly releasing disaggregated data files for schedules and real-time feeds of vehicle locations. These agencies have thus empowered civic entrepreneurs to…
Why This Book?
Transit-oriented development can be used as a tool to support family-friendly communities and high-quality education. Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a mix of housing, retail and/or commercial development, and amenities in a walkable neighborhood with high-quality public transportation. Interest in TOD has grown across the country to achieve multiple goals, including:
Reduced automobile trips and greenhouse gas emissions;
Increased transit ridership and transit agency revenues;
The potential for increased and/or sustained property values near transit;
Improved access to jobs for households of all incomes;
Reduced infrastructure costs, compared to what is required to support sprawling growth;
Reduced transportation costs for residents;
Improved public health due to increased walking and biking;
Creation of a sense of community and place.
Recent TOD projects have often catered more to young professionals, empty nesters or other households without children, as these…
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…
Letter To Residents
The District of Columbia is committed to bringing a streetcar system to the city to improve transit services available to residents and create walkable, vibrant communities. In the spring of 2010, the DC Office of Planning (OP) initiated a land planning study to ensure that the city and its residents gain the greatest possible benefits from the new system, and that the overarching vision and goals for the District are furthered by the new system.
Goals of the DC Streetcar system:
Link neighborhoods with a modern, convenient and attractive transportation alternative.
Provide quality service to retain and grow transit ridership.
Offer a broader range of transit options for District residents.
Reduce short inner-city auto trips, parking demand, traffic congestion and air pollution.
Connect people to jobs and services with frequent, affordable, reliable transit service.
Encourage economic development and affordable housing options along streetcar corridors.
Introduction to H+T
Significance of Transportation Costs and the Lack of Transparency
Today, the real estate market knows how to incorporate the value of land into the price of the home—based on its location and proximity to jobs and amenities—but there is less clarity about how the accompanying transportation costs also contribute to the desirability of a location. In most cases, the very same features that make the land and home more attractive, and likely more expensive per square foot, also make the transportation costs lower. Being close to jobs and commuter transit options reduces the expenses associated with daily commuting. And being within walking distance of an urban or suburban downtown or neighborhood shopping district allows a family to replace some of their daily auto trips with more walking trips. Walking, bicycling, taking transit, or using car sharing instead of driving a private automobile reduces gasoline and auto maintenance costs, and may even allow a family…
Public Markets are key elements to urban revitalization. The number of markets in the U.S. has increased from roughly 1,500 markets in 1994 to over 3,500 in 2004. Markets can improve districts in the following ways: act as a small business incubator, spur economic development around the market, connect local producers to consumers, provide vital social services to low-income citizens, provide access to healthy foods, offer affordable housing, and create a sense of place in the community. In order to achieve success, markets develop community partnerships that focus on different areas of improvement, such as historic preservation, retail development, a link between food producers and consumers, social services, and affordable housing. They then structure their leadership in such a way that is responsive to that area of improvement. The most successful markets establish a variety of community partnerships that focus on a range of improvements and community needs.
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…
Thirty years after service first began on the Washington Metrorail, the system has become an integral and important part of the region’s transportation network. Metrorail ridership has increased over the years as the system expanded and the region developed. Ridership continues to increase as development occurs throughout the region, particularly near stations. Continued growth in ridership requires expansion of station facilities to handle passenger flow within the station, as well as expansion of facilities to support auto, bus, and pedestrian access to stations.
In order to meet growing demand and maximize capacity of the system, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) initiated the Station Access and Capacity Study, a systemwide look at future passenger demand and available capacity. The purpose of the study was to identify and prioritize the needs of the existing 86 stations and identify stations where more detailed analysis is needed. The…
These case studies, funded through the support of the Surdna Foundation, present transit-oriented development (TOD) examples from diverse, low-income neighborhoods around transit, all built within the last 10 years. The goal of this survey is to provide examples that can help spur development around Philadelphia’s underutilized transit resources in similar types of neighborhoods. To that end, the examples in these case studies all overcame barriers to implementation using innovative, but replicable approaches. These examples are intended to allow the Philadelphia Neighborhood Development Collaborative and others to advocate for more involvement by the public sector, test some of the same mechanisms for financing and land assembly, and provide examples of successful TOD to developers and community members.
S.1 Study Purpose
The purpose of the 2005 Development Related Ridership Survey was to update a 16-year old study conducted by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) that surveyed the travel behavior of persons traveling to and from office, residential, hotel and retail sites near Metrorail stations. The 2005 effort sought to determine if modal splits for these land uses have changed over time and whether certain physical site characteristics still impact transit ridership. In 2005, 49 sites of the land uses listed above plus entertainment venues near 13 Metrorail stations participated in the study, which was designed to mimic the earlier efforts as a way to provide some context for comparison.
In the 16 years since WMATA last surveyed development around its rail stations to determine how much transit ridership certain land uses generate when placed near rail stations, much has changed in the Washington metropolitan region in terms of population…