- DMT Home
- About Us
- Organization Chart
- DMT Contact List
- District Transit Contacts
- California Transit Agency Contacts
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)
What is transit-oriented development?
“Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is moderate to higher density development, located within an easy walk of a major transit stop, generally with a mix of residential, employment, and shopping opportunities designed for pedestrians without excluding the auto. TOD can be new construction or redevelopment of one or more buildings whose design and orientation facilitate transit use.”
-California Department of Transportation
-TOD Study Technical Advisory Committee
Why tod in california?
Over the next 20 years, California is expected to add 11 - 16 million new residents and over four million new households. This unprecedented growth is more than California experienced during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, combined. California’s success at managing this growth will determine its future prosperity, the quality of its environment, and overall quality of life for its residents. Using smart growth concepts and a context sensitive approach, California can focus higher density and more compact land use development in corridors served by high quality transit without completely reshaping the character of a given community.
Research indicates that TODs increase the number of trips made by transit, walking, and cycling because of their pedestrian orientation, mix of land uses, and access to transit. Increasing the range of travel options will become increasingly important in the coming years, especially in major metropolitan areas, where congestion continues to worsen. By creating “activity nodes” linked by transit, TOD provides much needed mobility options, including options for young people, the elderly, and people who don’t own cars or prefer not to drive.
California has enacted legislation to improve our environment by reducing tailpipe emissions. If done correctly, TOD can be part of the solution to achieving these goals. Research conducted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) found that TOD and other land use strategies could generally reduce emissions by at least 10-20 percent in suburban communities and by at least 20-30 percent in central cities. ARB studies also show that “significantly increasing walking and transit opportunities,” along with strategically located moderate to high-density development and transit, could achieve an annual reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) of between 20-30 percent per TOD household. Given that, a TOD household could consume 250 - 380 fewer gallons of gasoline each year, on average, and emit 2.5 - 3.7 tons less CO2 yearly than its non-TOD counterpart.
For a majority of households, housing and transportation are the first and second largest expenses, respectively. TOD residents can realize significant savings through reduced auto usage and ownership because of the inherent ease of walking, biking, and using transit. In addition, by bringing jobs and housing closer together, TOD can help address the growing “jobs/housing balance” problem, which forces many workers to commute to distant job centers and reduces employment opportunities for transit-dependent workers.
TOD Study Executive Summary
The Executive Summary that gives an overview of the major findings of this statewide study is now available: TOD Study Executive Summary. You may use the report's Table of Contents to move throughout the report.