|WHAT IS TRANSIT-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT (TOD)? return to top|
“Transit-Oriented Development” or “TOD” creates places around high quality transit service that permit lifestyles and employment options where walking, bicycling & transit travel is convenient and safe. Designed for pedestrian comfort, mixes of uses and higher densities are combined to create comfortable walking environments. Close proximity to the transit (bus or train) station and the quality of the TOD helps to promote use of transit and less reliance on the automobile.
TOD's mix of civic uses, workplaces, shopping, and housing, designed in concert with the character and context of surrounding neighborhoods is helping to provide choice locations for working and living that are better for the environment, better for the preservation of farms and open space and better for those who may choose to live car-free or car-limited. Additional benefits of TODs are increased transportation options, reduced fuel consumption and transportation costs, and decreased congestion on Maryland roads and cleaner air and waterways. TODs will generally contribute to an improved quality of life for all Marylanders. Characteristics of good TOD include:
TOD should have high-quality transit service that includes, wherever possible, access to buses and rail. Many Maryland neighborhoods in the Washington Metropolitan Area, for example, link residents to Metro stations with TheBus, Ride-On and University of Maryland buses. Local and private bus operators in Howard, Harford, Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties design their schedules to better connect to MARC and Light Rail stations. Montgomery County, Prince George's County and Baltimore City are connecting their trail systems to transit stops and stations to improve transportation choice. Most Maryland jurisdictions are working on multiple fronts to improve neighborhood connections to high-value regional transit.
TOD is an important tool to help Maryland manage future growth, leverage public investments, and achieve Smart Growth and sustainable communities. Maryland has great TOD potential, with more than 75 existing rail, light rail, and subway stations, and dozens more proposed in the next 20 years. People living within ½ mile of a transit station drive 47% less than those living elsewhere and are up to five times more likely to use transit.
Attracting new homes and businesses to transit station areas supports the State’s investment in transit and offers greater options for travel and less reliance on a car for those who choose to make their homes at these locations. Taking advantage of opportunities to create higher-density transit destinations along our transit systems allows the State to put the land around the transit stations to a higher and better use, facilitating the return of these lands to local tax roles. Transit station areas also make excellent opportunities for public private partnerships to enhance State-owned or leased transit stations and parking areas, while enabling a private developer to create Transit-Oriented Development.