TOD in Statute and Regulation

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Although transit-oriented development (TOD) and joint development are not discreet programs of the U.S. Department of Transportation,  FTA grantees may use FTA financial assistance for joint development activities that incorporate private investment or enhance economic development. Such projects may include transferring land for nearby real estate development; preparing land for development; providing enhanced access; and developing on-site community services such as dependent care, health care, public safety, or commercial conveniences.

Section 2005(b) of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) created the Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning (for comprehensive planning) associated with a new fixed guideway or core capacity improvement project, as those projects are defined in 49 U.S.C. (Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grants Program). MAP-21 authorizes FTA to make grants for comprehensive planning that seeks to:

  • Enhance economic development, ridership, and other goals established during the project development and engineering processes;
  • Facilitate multimodal connectivity and accessibility;
  • Increase access to transit hubs for pedestrian (PDF) and bicycle traffic;
  • Enable mixed-use development;
  • Identify infrastructure needs associated with the eligible project; and
  • Include private-sector participation.

Moreover, previous federal transit law (49 U.S.C. §5301 et. seq.) references transit-oriented development in select places:

  • SAFETEA-LU created a Center for Transit-Oriented Development to develop standards and definitions for transit-oriented development adjacent to public transportation facilities; system planning guidance, performance criteria, and modeling techniques for metropolitan planning agencies and public transportation agencies to maximize ridership through land use planning and adjacent development; and research support and technical assistance to public transportation agencies, metropolitan planning agencies, and other persons regarding transit-oriented development;
  • Section 1117 of SAFETEA-LU the Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program made transit-oriented development plans and capital projects eligible for federal funding, and gave priority consideration to state and local preservation of development plans, including transit-oriented development plans.

Learn more about transit-oriented development.