Oriented Toward Equity: A Rating System for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development

Unlike rating systems that assess the quality of individual TOD projects, this proposed eTOD Score rating system seeks to measure the capacity for equitable TOD within a given public transit station area. It identifies easily quantifiable and comparable built, social, and transit attributes that reduce driving, encourage higher transit ridership, and promote transit equity and accessibility.

This research focuses on daily household Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) as the key performance metric for transit-oriented development and sees areas with already low VMT as optimal locations for TOD. The eTOD Score was piloted in Massachusetts, where household VMT data was available for use in analyzing which attributes to include in the rating system and in validating the resulting rating system.

The resulting rating system—as well as each of its three sub-scores—has a very strong and inverse relationship to VMT, so regions without available VMT data can adopt this rating system with confidence that it accurately predicts which station areas are likely to demonstrate the best TOD performance as measured by reduced household driving.