TOD203: Transit Corridors and TOD

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, land use - smart growth, land use - transit oriented development, land use - urban density, place - north america


transit, real estate development, corridor planning


"This guidebook illustrates how planning at the corridor scale can help transit investments capture the benefits of TOD," said Sam Zimbabwe, director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development. "Corridor planning can engage stakeholders, lead to more cost effective planning processes, and identify where along a new or existing transit line that the real estate market will be most active.”

Filled with real-world transit-oriented development lessons, the guidebook explains how corridor planning can facilitate not only successful transportation outcomes but also successful transit-oriented development.

"Corridor planning is a critical step toward making wise investments in transit that will spur economic development, reduce congestion and help connect people with work, school, shopping, health care, and other vital services," said Therese McMillan, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, the agency that funded the development of the guidebook. "Having a list of clear objectives and relevant examples at hand makes that critical planning step all the easier.”

The guidebook defines three corridor types (destination connector, commuter, and district circulator) and identifies the different implications for TOD associated with each type of transit corridor.

Putting the theory to work, the guidebook indentifies six objectives for transit and TOD at the corridor level from “Guide growth and development” to “Promote reinvestment and increase spending power” and pairs those with strategies to reach the objectives.

The guidebook contains numerous on-the-ground examples: Alignment considerations for the planned Southwest Corridor in the Twin Cities; engaging stakeholders along the Foothill Extension of the Gold Line; the shared planning process along Phoenix’s Valley Metro Light Rail that led to TOD zoning and pedestrian development guidelines for the entire corridor; Charlotte's development experience since light rail arrived in 2007; and the exciting collaboration between the housing authorities, planners, and city leaders in Denver and Lakewood along the West Corridor; the high ridership experienced by Houston’s Red Line due to the connections it provides between major destinations, not to mention lessons from Seattle, Boston, Cleveland, St. Louis, Washington, DC, the San Francisco Bay Area, Baltimore and Portland.


Permission to link to the article has been given by Reconnecting America.