Transit Use at Transit-Oriented Developments in Portland, Oregon, Area


Jennifer Dill

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - station, planning - surveys, land use - transit oriented development, land use - smart growth, ridership - mode choice, ridership - commuting, ridership - growth, mode - rail, mode - mass transit


Travel surveys, Travel behavior, Transit oriented development, Transit, Smart growth, Residential location, Rail transit stations, Public transit, Portland (Oregon), Place of residence, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mass transit, Local transit, Commuting, Choice of transportation


Many regions throughout the United States are turning to various smart growth concepts, including transit-oriented development (TOD), to address a variety of concerns. Public agencies in the Portland, Oregon, region were early adopters of policies to promote TOD. More than 300 residents of TODs near four rail stations in the Portland area were surveyed about their travel behavior. The neighborhoods were selected to represent a range of styles of TODs while controlling for income. All the TODs surveyed were market-price units, most of them for sale, generally marketed to higher-income households. None of the neighborhoods completely satisfies agreed-on standards for good TODs: higher density, good land use mix, pedestrian friendly, and close to transit. The research found that households in the neighborhoods tend to be smaller than in the surrounding cities and often are without children. The residents of the surveyed TODs are not transit dependent, although they did commute by transit at a significantly higher rate than residents citywide. The physical features and locations of the TODs did not appear to affect levels of transit commuting but did influence access mode to the station and transit use for noncommute travel. Distance to a rail station and parking pricing were important factors in commute mode choice. Respondents also reported using transit more than they had at their previous residences.