Transit-Oriented Development in the United States: Experiences, Challenges, and Prospects

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - transit oriented development, land use - planning, economics - revenue, economics - benefits, place - urban, mode - pedestrian


Accessibility, Air quality, Benefits, Implementation, Joint development, Land use planning, Land values, Open space control, Partnerships, Pedestrians, Quality of life, Real estate development, Revenues, Ridership, State of the practice, Transit oriented development, United States, Urban development


Focusing development around transit facilities has become a significant way to improve accessibility, support community and regional goals of enhancing the quality of life, and support the financial success of transit investment. The experiences of a new generation of transit systems highlight the powerful role that transit investments play in channeling urban development. Benefits attributable to transit-oriented development (TOD) initiatives include improved air quality, preservation of open space, pedestrian-friendly environments, increased ridership and revenue, reduction of urban sprawl, and reorientation of urban development patterns around both rail and bus transit facilities. Today, many transit systems and communities across the country are participating in TOD programs. TOD participants range from small local and intercity bus systems with community-related services to large local and intercity rail systems with numerous projects. Increasingly, transit agencies are looking at programs and analyzing real-estate competitiveness to solicit developer interest. This report defines TOD and joint development and offers insight into the various aspects of implementing TOD, including political and institutional factors; planning and land-use strategies, benefits, and impacts; fiscal considerations and partnerships; and design challenges and considerations. The report focuses on TOD and joint development and practice; the level of collaboration between various partners (e.g., the development community, financial partners, planning and land-use agencies, and government entities); the impacts of TOD and joint development on land values; the potential benefits of TOD; and successful design principles and characteristics. This report will be helpful to transit agencies, the development community, and local decision makers considering TOD.


Permission to link to this report given by TRB.