Upfront planning to maximize benefits


Rendering of the Durham-Orange light rail line. (Image: GoTriangle)

GoTriangle is in the process of planning an 18 stop light rail line between Durham and Chapel Hill, NC. The line is estimated to cost $2.47 billion and station area planning has been underway since 2016 through a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

Through the planning process, local officials have been crunching the numbers on tax benefits from development near stations under different scenarios. At two stations in Orange County—Gateway and Patterson Place—300 acres were identified as developable land. If built out with 10 to 15 story buildings they would generate $210 million in new tax revenue over the next 40 years from almost half a billion dollars in development.

Tax revenue estimates were made for stations along the line to show how much economic value could be created for local schools and public services if and when development comes. The language of economics will be important when moving towards a discussion of potential land use changes local counties and cities might make.

For more information on economic development and growing the tax base near transit, check out TODresources.org and you’ll find reports from ULI on the fiscal impacts of TOD, the economic impacts of the DART light rail system in Dallas, and work on development patterns near three transit lines.

Recent TOD news

Here are a few things that have been happening this week with TOD projects across the country.

  • New transit-oriented development fund launches in Atlanta (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Two more condo towers proposed near future Ala Moana Center Station (Honolulu Civil Beat)
  • Livestream: Rail~Volution panel on transit-oriented development (Public Source)
  • The Hartford Line could bring the arrival of much-needed downtown development to Berlin (Hartford Courant)