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Station Area Planning Manual

Reconnecting America creates companion to MTC’s TOD Policy and for Priority Development Areas under the FOCUS program

This manual is intended to serve as a companion to MTC’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Policy and for Priority Development Areas under the Focusing Our Vision (FOCUS) program to assist jurisdictions with decisionmaking as they complete planning efforts around Bay Area transit hubs and corridors.

MTC’s TOD Policy, adopted in 2005, requires new regional transit expansion projects to meet corridor housing thresholds that require local governments and transit providers to work together to show how they will provide for a minimum amount of housing within walking distance of transit stations. The goal is to make regional transit investments as efficient as possible and encourage local jurisdictions to focus growth around transit nodes. In order to reinforce the requirements of the TOD Policy, MTC has made funding available for Station Area Plans that address future land use changes, station access needs, circulation improvements, pedestrian-friendly design, TOD-supportive parking policies and other key features in a transit-oriented development.

Realizing The Potential: Expanding Housing Opportunities Near Transit

Study shows location matters when it comes to reducing household costs; examines five case studies

This new national study funded by the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that location matters a great deal when it comes to reducing household costs. While families who live in auto-dependent neighborhoods spend an average of 25 percent of their household budget on transportation, families who live in transit-rich neighborhoods spend just 9 percent, the study says. The report examines five case study regions – Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Minneapolis, and Portland -- to better understand the proactive strategies being undertaken to create and preserve affordable housing near transit.

Realizing The Potential: Expanding Housing Opportunities Near Transit

Realizing the Postential: One Year Later

Hercules Aerial Tram, Mobility Study and Report (2007)

Connecting waterfront to new town center using aerial ropeways

This study seeks to inform City of Hercules Council and Staff about connecting the City’s waterfront to a new developing town center. This study gives technical information on the possibility of using aerial ropeways (which includes aerial trams and gondolas) and discusses alternatives such as buses and streetcars.

Hercules Aerial Tram/Mobility Study & Report

Case for Mixed-Income Transit-Oriented Development in the Denver Region

Study examines demand for TOD, barriers to it and tools to get around those barriers

The passage of the “FasTracks” ballot measure by metro Denver voters in 2004 signaled the start of a new era of transportation, growth and development in the area. FasTracks has terrific potential to deliver on its promises of reduced congestion, livable neighborhoods and greater economic competitiveness, but its success is dependent on the kind of development that grows up around new and existing transit stations.

Well-planned “transit-oriented development” (TOD) can foster greater use of FasTracks light rail by encouraging housing, retail and office developments in the districts around transit stops. Incorporating affordable housing into TODs presents opportunities to meaningfully address the region’s growing affordability crisis by tackling housing and transportation costs simultaneously—while expanding access to jobs, educational opportunities and prosperity for the many households living in the Denver region.

Preserving and Promoting Diverse Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods (2006)

Preserving and Promoting Diverse Transit-Oriented Neighborhoods (2006)

It was not too long ago that our mass transit systems had become yet another symbol of disinvestment in urban America. As people exited cities for the suburbs, they left in their wake the decaying public amenities and assets that had given rise to cities in the first place —the schools, the infrastructure and the mass transit.

How times have changed. According to the American Public Transportation Association, riders in the U.S. took more than 9.7 billion trips on public transportation systems in 2005. Since 1995, public transportation use has increased 25 percent. There are 3,349 mass transit stations in the

U.S. today, and regions from coast to coast are building or planning to build new rail systems or expand existing systems. Over 700 new stations are currently under development.

A number of factors are driving this growth in transit use and construction. First, automobile transportation is increasingly expensive. Transportation — mostly fueled by the costs of owning and operating a personal vehicle — now costs as much or more than shelter in region after region. Studies show that expenditures for personally-owned vehicles drain household wealth and undercut community economic viability.1 Second, residents are looking for the convenience and access that alternatives to auto transportation can provide. And third, residents are tired of auto-related congestion and air pollution and are looking for alternatives.

Tools for Mixed-Income TOD

Tools and strategies used to create mixed-income and affordable housing near transit

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and disseminate examples of tools and strategies from around the country that are being used to create mixed-income and affordable housing near transit. Through this report, we hope to encourage more communities, regional agencies, state and federal government, and developers to adopt and improve upon the successful strategies, and to spur ideas for other tools that do not yet exist.

The first half of the paper explains the general areas and ways in which the tools are used, as well as any limitations that currently exist, and the second half provides best practices and an actual example of the strategy or tool in a transit-oriented development.

Tools for Mixed-Income TOD

Value Capture: How to Get a Return on Investment in Transit and TOD

Summary of options for capturing value of transit and TOD before they're built (2003)

The maxim is that when looking for a new home or business the three most important considerations are: location, location, location. As traffic makes it increasingly difficult to drive in downtowns, as downtowns become increasingly popular with both residents and businesses, and as new transit systems open up in downtowns across the U.S., an address near transit is proving to be a good one. Empirical evidence that transit and TOD create significant value is mounting. It has to do with economies of agglomeration and the efficiencies created: Some things work better when clustered together. And with “killer commutes” tying up 10 million drivers two hours a day in traffic, it works best when they’re clustered around transit.

The fact that condo sales have outpaced the sale of single family homes is proof the market is changing. Smaller, non-traditional households without children want to live in convenient neighborhoods. In cities, the road network has reached a level of connectivity best described as “saturated,” and returns on that investment are diminishing. But transit still offers net benefits, in part because it concentrates development -- and the tax base – allowing for more focused value capture strategies. And in this era of shrinking public funding and expansive demand, value capture strategies are needed to help pay for construction and operation of transit and expensive TOD components like structured parking.

Value Capture: How to Get a Return on Investment in Transit and TOD

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