S Khasnabis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - integration, ridership - growth, place - north america, place - urban, mode - mass transit


Urban land use, Urban growth, Urban areas, Transit cooperative research program, Transit, Regulatory policy, Public transit, Private sector, Private enterprise, Policy, Policies, North America, Mass transit, Local transit, Land use, Integration, Integrated systems, Integrated control systems, Government policy, Government policies, Economic development, Case studies, Accessibility


Planners have often looked on transportation policies as a means of controlling broad patterns of land use. It has been argued that past transportation policies have contributed to decentralization of urban activities resulting in congestion, traffic hazards, and environmental pollution. Others contend that urban land uses reflect location decisions by individual households and employers and that transportation is just one of the many factors that affect such decisions. Thus, public policies in transportation have very little opportunity to alter future land use. The exact effect of transit on the distribution of urban activities, the resulting urban structure, the level of congestion, and air quality is not fully understood. An attempt is made in this paper to document successful cases of transit and land use integration as well as the techniques used by different agencies to bring about such integration. Various studies under the Transit Cooperative Research Program on different aspects of transit and land use policies serve as the basic sources of information for this paper. Eight case studies are examined that encompass a variety of transit modes in urban North America. It is concluded that the accessibility advantages provided by transit may play a crucial role in the concentration of development and in creating economic opportunities. However, transit by itself is not sufficient to guarantee successful transit-focused development. Other major factors are supportive regional and local policies and private investment in concert with the transit program. Further, successful transit and land use integration does not necessarily imply the presence of a high-speed rail system. In a strong market, when support policies are in place, light rail and busways can also be used to channel urban growth.