Transit-oriented development in the States

Across the United States, in large cities such as Seattle and Miami and in smaller metropolitan areas such as Hartford, Conn., and Fort Collins, Colo., new transit systems are being built to aid mobility, reduce congestion and spark economic activity. Future transit riders may find themselves stepping onto a new light rail car in Houston, boarding a streetcar in Cincinnati or hopping on bus-rapid transit in Tampa. All these systems promise to help reshape the cities they serve and bring new transportation options to citizens.

Creating new transit systems is only part of the equation, however. Transit is much more likely to enhance the overall transportation network if a neighborhood’s or city’s development patterns encourage transit ridership, a strategy referred to as transit-oriented development (TOD). Policymakers, private businesses and community advocates across the country are working to build and encourage TOD near transit lines and stops. State legislatures have taken a lead role in many states to create regulatory, planning and funding frameworks to encourage such development.

This report from the National Conference of State Legislatures provides an overview of TOD efforts by state legislatures, as well as case studies of several states that are successfully creating development near transit.