Transit Orientation: More Than Just Coverage—A New Method for the Assessment of Transit and Development Co-Location

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - transit oriented development, land use - planning, land use - urban density, planning - methods, ridership - demand


transit oriented development, activity density, co-location performance


This paper presents a new method for assessing transit and development co-location and applies it to a case study. Co-location is a core element of transit oriented development. It is currently assessed by designating activities within a given distance from transit as “close to transit” and calculating the activity density of these catchment areas or the share of activities within them. However, transit demand decreases with distance, so distribution of activities within transit catchment areas matters in addition to average density. The main contribution of the new method is explicitly assessing density distribution within transit catchment areas. It is based on the notion that density should not increase with distance from transit. Case study results demonstrate the method’s ability to compare station areas based on aggregate indicator values, while also providing maps of disaggregate and spatially explicit co-location performance. This fine-grained analysis allows planners to identify potential future development areas. Results are compared to commonly used indicators for station area intensity and proximity of activities to transit. An important conclusion is that the new method should be used in combination with an intensity indicator.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by SAGE, copyright remains with them.