Bay Area Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
Study Purpose, Key Questions and Study
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The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Study assesses
the opportunities, benefits and barriers for increased
levels of TOD in the San Francisco Bay Area, and
helps define MTC’s policies in support of
Bay Area TODs. Specifically, this study recommends
policies for conditioning regional discretionary
funds under MTC’s control for
Resolution 3434 transit
expansion projects on the demonstration of supportive
land use policies by local government around transit
stations and along key transit corridors. This direction
was adopted in principle as part of Resolution 3434
and reaffirmed in the Commission’s adoption
of its draft five-point transportation-land use platform
in December 2003. The TOD Study plays an instrumental
role in defining and implementing supportive land-use
policies for Resoluion 3434 projects, and was
conducted in close partnership with ABAG, transit
agencies, local governments and other interested
Key Questions and Study Approach
The following key questions are addressed in the
Question 1 - How much opportunity for TOD exists in the Bay Area, what
kinds of opportunities are there, and where are they? What does the Smart Growth Vision
suggest for growth around transit? What different types of opportunities for TOD are there
in the region?
- Work with ABAG to estimate the potential regional size and impact of TOD in the
Bay Area. Summarize current, future and “best case TOD” conditions next to
transit stations and in transit corridors in the Bay Area, including demographics, land
use conditions, local policies, and transit ridership impacts. Identify types of TOD
opportunities in the Bay Area by transit mode and other characteristics.
Question 2 – What policies that support transit-oriented
development are being used in other areas of the country, as well as within the Bay
- Summarize regional policies to support TODs, including different regional
policy approaches and incentive programs from outside the Bay Area, and relevant
policies from within the region.
Question 3 – What are the components of an effective regional
policy to support TOD in the Bay Area?
- Assess the lessons learned from other regions and from within the Bay
- Assess the existing transportation and land use planning processes within our
region, and the unique characteristics and diversity of the Bay Area.
- Propose policy planning approaches that more closely link regional transit
investments with corresponding levels of local land use development policies.
Question 4 – How do we test and evaluate the potential policy
approaches as proposed?
- Develop and review the proposed approach with technical advisors, policy
advisors, and the public.
- Conduct case studies with local jurisdictions to analyze the effectiveness of
the proposed policies in detail. Refine the policy approach based on partner feedback
and further analysis.
- Refine the policies based on the feedback and findings from the case
Question 5 – What is the objective of the TOD Study?
- Recommend policies for conditioning regional discretionary funds under
MTC’s control for Resolution 3434 transit expansion projects on the demonstration
of supportive land use policies by local government around transit stations and along
key transit corridors.
The five regional planning agencies, led by the Association of Bay Area Governments
(ABAG), and with active participation by MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management
District (BAAQMD), released a Smart Growth Vision for the nine-county Bay Area in 2002 that
established a goal of capturing half of all new development over the next two decades
around the region’s transit hubs and corridors. In December 2003, the Metropolitan
Transportation Commission made a commitment to assist in the implementation of the vision
by adopting a Transportation/Land Use Platform. The platform establishes MTC’s
overall approach to improving the integration of transportation and land use in the Bay
Area, and builds upon MTC’s Transportation
for Livable Communities (TLC) and Housing Incentive (HIP) programs. MTC’s Resolution 3434
provides a funding commitment of $11.7 billion for nearly two dozen new transit expansion
projects in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, encompassing a range of transit
The Commission’s Transportation/Land-Use Platform
The Commission’s Transportation/Land-Use Platform calls for a stronger linkage
between transportation and land use planning in the Bay Area. One of the key Platform
points is to condition the allocation of regional discretionary transit funds under
MTC’s control, provided by Resolution 3434, on supportive land use measures by local
jurisdictions. As a key element of the platform, the Commission took a further step to
condition the award of regional discretionary transit funding on supportive local land use
policies. The policy states that the Commission will:
- Encourage changes to local general plans that support Transit Oriented
Development for Resolution 3434 investments.
- Promote development of land uses adjacent to major transit extensions to
support ridership markets that will make these investments economically
- Condition the award of regional discretionary funds under MTC’s control
for Resolution 3434 expansion projects on the demonstration by local government that
plans are in place supporting some level of increased housing/employment/mixed use
density around transit stations.
The TOD Study provides information to assist MTC
in defining how the policy to condition transit
funding on supportive land use is implemented.
The TOD Study was conducted by a team of consultants
managed by MTC, working closely with
ABAG. The Joint Policy Committee (JPC), made
up of members from MTC, ABAG and the BAAQMD,
monitors the study and the proposed policies, and
provides policy direction. The agendas and packets
for JPC meetings are available online. The
Transportation and Land Use Task Force, composed
of representatives from local jurisdictions, congestion
management agencies, transit agencies, developers
and other interested stakeholders, was used
for technical review and assisting in identifying
key issues in proposed policy approaches and implementation.
For more information on the Bay Area TOD Study,
contact project manager Valerie Knepper at 510.817.5824, or via email at email@example.com.
Bay Area Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Study
Scope of Work/Key Project Steps
- Refined project scope and schedule
- Summary of policy approaches/ incentive programs from outside and
within the Bay Area to support TODs.
learned relevant to MTC policy development.
- Analyses of land use and demographics (current, future and “best case
TOD”) conditions and plans proximate to transit stations/hubs/corridors
- Population, household and employment information in the areas immediately
proximate to current and future transit stations, hubs and corridors for
existing, forecast future, and “Best Case TOD” scenarios
- Planned land use from local General Plans proximate to transit
- Types of Bay Area TOD opportunities and relevance to development of policies
- Types of Bay Area TOD opportunities, distribution of TOD opportunity types,
and the relevance to the development of MTC policies.
- Issues and opportunities relevant to each type of TOD opportunity, and
implications for supportive regional policies.
- Regional market conditions for development in transit corridors / stations
of the regional “Best Case TOD” scenario.
- Estimate of regional transit ridership impacts of the “Best Case
- Overall regional policy approaches to support matched development of land use and
- Potential policy approaches including incentives and performance
- Potential performance measures for minimum densities and intensities for
the programming of transit expansion funds under MTC's Resolution 3434 on
supportive land use policies by local jurisdictions.
- Effective approaches for achieving supportive local land use policies.
- Case studies analyses. For each location:
- Existing conditions and current plans, report on site tour and discussions
with local planners and interests
- Summaries of opportunities, including the market assessment and land use
- Summaries of the relative ridership estimates from TOD.
- Recommended solutions or approaches to address any impediments to
development of TOD
- Recommending refinements to MTC’s policy approach.
- Final Report, PowerPoint presentation, Briefing Book
TOD Study Deliverables
- TASK 2: Review
of Existing Transit-Oriented Development
Policies (PDF 6.1 MB)
- TASK 3A,3B: Memorandum Describing Existing Population, Households and Employment Data and Analysis in the Smart Growth TOD Zones, Summary of Current Land Uses (PDF 1 MB)
- TASK 3A, Data Summaries (Excel Worksheet 1 MB)
- TASK 3B, Data Summaries (Excel Worksheet 1 MB)
- TASK 3C,3D, 3E: Memorandum Describing Future Population, Households and Employment Data and Analysis in the Smart Growth TOD Zones, Summary of Planned Land Uses (PDF 1 MB)
- TASKS 4A,
4B & 4C: Types and Distribution
of TOD Opportunities in the Bay Area (PDF)
- TASK 4D:
Demand Analysis (PDF 2 MB)
- TASK 4E:
Quantifying Density’s Affect on Transit Ridership
in the Bay Area (PDF)
- TASK 5: Preliminary
Regional Policies and Incentives to Encourage
Transit-Oriented Development (PDF)
- TASK 6A:
MTC Case Study Recommendations (PDF)
6B: MTC Technical Roundtable Summary (PDF)
- TASKS 6B,
6C, & 6E: MTC Resolution
3434 TOD Policy Evaluation and Recommendations (PDF)
- TASK 6D:
Ridership Analysis (PDF)
- TASK 6F:
Recommended Efforts to Support TOD in the
Bay Area (PDF)
Corridor Map Books (Maps of Individual Station
Res. 3434 Case Study Corridor Evaluation – Station Area Analysis
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