Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Transit Oriented Development's Advantages

OK, maybe it doesn't seem cool to blog about someone else's blog, but this is one that's really worth it. It's Todd Litman's blog on Planetizen, "Comprehensive Evaluation of Transit Oriented Development Benefits." Todd is the executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

One interesting fact that came to light in his study is that TOD increased transit use somewhat, but most of all increased walking, and decreased vehicle miles traveled (VMT, the standard measure of automobile use).

Let me give you a quote of the main TOD advantages he cites, then urge you to read the entire blog entry:

  • Congestion reduction (30-50% reductions in per capita annual congestion delay are typical between transit-oriented cities and comparable size automobile-oriented cities).
  • Road and parking facility cost savings (worth hundreds of dollars annually per capita).
  • Consumer savings and improved affordability (often totaling thousands of dollars annual per household).
  • Improved safety (residents of transit-oriented communities have about a quarter of the per-capita traffic fatality rate as residents of automobile-dependent sprawl, taking into account all traffic deaths, including pedestrians and transit passengers).
  • Improved mobility options for non-drivers (non-drivers benefit not only from improved public transit service, but also from improved walking and cycling conditions and more compact and mixed land use).
  • Improved public fitness and health (transit users are four times as likely to achieve the target of 20 minutes or more of walking per day as people who do not use transit on a particular day).
  • Increased local property values and household wealth (improved accessibility and transportation cost savings tend to be capitalized in higher land values, which appreciates over time).
  • Energy conservation and emission reductions (residents of transit-oriented communities tend to consume 20-40% less transportation energy than they would in more automobile dependent communities).
  • More dollars circulating in the local economy (expenditures on vehicles and fuel provide less employment and business activity than expenditures on other consumer goods, and much less than expenditures on transit service).

Interesting? So go see what else Todd has to say!


  1. It's always "cool" to pass along a link to a great posting on someone else's site. Thanks for the "heads up" about this.

  2. You would think Arborland would take this into consideration when considering the AATA bus stop at Arborland.