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TCRP 128: Effects of TOD on Housing, Parking and Travel

Transit Cooperative Research Program research findings

New research recently completed for the Transit Cooperative Research Program provides the ammunition to build TODs that take the benefits of transit into account. The study completed by PB PlaceMaking, Dr Robert Cervero, The Urban Land Institute and the Center for Transit Oriented Development looked at how automobile use of residential TODs compared to conventional development.

Our research looks at the actual transportation performance of 17 built TOD projects. This was done by counting the passage of motorized vehicles using pneumatic tubes stretched across the driveways of TOD housing projects of varying sizes in four urbanized areas of the country: Philadelphia/N.E. New Jersey; Portland, Oregon; metropolitan Washington D.C.; and the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In fact, the results of this research clearly show TOD-housing produces fewer automobile trips in the four urbanized areas. The research confirms the ITE trip generation and parking generation rates over estimate automobile trips for TOD housing by 50%.

TCRP 128: Effects of TOD on Housing, Parking and Travel

The Affordability Index

A New Tool for Measuring the True Affordability of a Housing Choice

This brief describes a new information tool developed by the Urban Markets Initiative to quantify, for the first time, the impact of transportation costs on the affordability of housing choices. This brief explains the background, creation, and purpose of this new tool. The first section provides a project overview and a short summary of the method used to create the Affordability Index. The next section highlights the results from testing the index in a seven-county area in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN. To demonstrate the usefulness of this tool at a neighborhood level, the third section projects the effect of transportation and housing choices on three hypothetical low- and moderate-income families in each of four different neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. The brief concludes with suggested policy recommendations and applications of the new tool for various actors in the housing market, and for regulators, planners, and funders in the transportation and land use arenas at all levels of government.

The Housing and Transportation Affordability Index is a groundbreaking innovation because it prices the trade-offs that households make between housing and transportation costs and the savings that derive from living in communities that are near shopping, schools, and work, and that boast a transit-rich environment. Built using data sets that are available for every transit-served community in the nation, the tool can be applied in neighborhoods in more than 42 cities in the United States.1 It provides consumers, policymakers, lenders, and investors with the information needed to make better decisions about which neighborhoods are truly affordable, and illuminate the implications of their policy and investment choices.

The Affordability Index: A New Tool for Measuring the True Affordability of a Housing Choice

A Heavy Load

The combined housing and transportation burdens of working families (2006)

Nationally, for every dollar a working family saves on housing, it spends 77 cents more on transportation. This was one of the dramatic findings from the Center’s earlier study, Something’s Gotta Give, which reflects the basic tradeoff many working families face between paying a greater share of their income for housing or enduring long commutes and high transportation costs. But how does this tradeoff play out at the local level? Are there metropolitan areas in which this tradeoff is more or less pronounced? Where do working families end up living within each area, and how does the availability of housing affect their choices? And how does the varying cost of housing and transportation within a region affect families’ combined housing and transportation burdens?

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