Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a land use strategy intended
to promote efficient use of land and transportation infrastructure.
TODs are places of relatively higher density, pedestrian-friendly development with a mix of land uses located within an easy walk of
a bus or rail transit center.
While TOD has been a widely understood planning and real estate development concept nationally, it is an important part of Maryland’s strategy to address sprawl, environmental issues, and traffic congestion. In 2008, the legislature adopted a definition of TOD. As defined in statute, a TOD is: "a dense, mixed-use deliberately-planned development within a half-mile of transit stations that is designed to increase transit ridership".
supports the use of transportation alternatives including transit accessibility by bicycles and pedestrians;
increases transit ridership, thereby supporting broader transportation network efficiencies and reducing congestion;
- promotes community safety, convenience and economic development objectives;
- supports land use and environmental conservation efforts by helping minimize air and water quality impacts; and
TOD varies in scale, density, look, feel and function depending on where it is located, what types of transit service is available, and what the community context is.
However, TOD is characterized by:
- Density – relatively higher density development within walking distance of transit service, with highest intensity land uses located closest to transit;
- Design – buildings, roads, walkways, and parking are designed to encourage walking and biking for short trips; and
- Diversity of Land Uses – a mixture of residential, employment, shopping and civic uses to facilitate local trip making and balanced use of transit service.