Evaluating Transit Revitalization Investment Districts In Pennsylvania


The Center for Transit-Oriented Development has released, "Transit Revitalization Investment Districts (TRID): Opportunities and Challenges for Implementation," which assesses the effectiveness of TRID as a financing tool for revitalization of core communities across Pennsylvania.
In 2004, the state of Pennsylvania passed the Transit Revitalization Investment District Act. This innovative law was designed to encourage transit-oriented development by providing resources for station area planning, and by enabling use of a district-based tax increment financing mechanism to capture increases in property values near transit. It is distinct from tax-increment financing because unlike TIF, it does not require a finding of "blight" in the area where it is used, and focuses on encouraging comprehensive community-based planning. While many jurisdictions have taken advantage of the planning aspects of TRID, thus far no TRID financing district as been created.
The Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group commissioned CTOD to complete this report, which assesses TRID's strengths and seeks to understand why the financing mechanism has not yet been utilized. The report includes case studies in four communities: Marcus Hook, Bryn Mawr, Dormont/Mt. Lebanon, and Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood.
The report concludes that while TRID has been successful in promoting district-based planning efforts that reflect the spirit of the legislation, there are many complicated and intertwined economic, political, and financing challenges to utilizing the financing mechanism. The report ultimately makes recommendations for changes and clarifications in the legislation as well as activities such as education and outreach, and a demonstration project to increase familiarity and comfort with the financing mechanism.