Resource: Building for Transit in the Metropolitan Area
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Title: Building for Transit in the Metropolitan Area
Resource type: Principles
Topics: Buildings, Communities, Land Use, Transportation
Keywords: New Urbanism, traditional neighborhood design (TND), city planning
Audience: Government, Nonprofit
Region: Twin Cities
Summary: The Metropolitan Council offers principles and rules of thumb for transit-oriented development.
Content: Transit-oriented development (TOD) can be summarized as building physical spaces easily accessible by foot, bike, rail and bus rather than just cars. According to the Met Council's web site below, successful transit-oriented development requires:

1) Compact development typical of the late 19th century through the 1940s when the streetcar was the most common means of getting to work and going shopping. TOD contrasts with the auto-oriented development that created America's suburbs over the past 40 years.

[NOTE from NextStep staff: As a rule of thumb:
- the population typically residing in a minimum of 7 to 8 dwelling units per acre (DUA) is required to economically support a bus line running at least once an hour through such a neighborhood. Other researchers use the rules of thumb: a viable bus system providing service every 10 minutes requires 15 DUA; light rail requires about 9 DUA; rail service requires 30 DUA.
- each doubling of residential density decreases vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 25% - 30%.
- the greater the density, the lower the ecological footprint per person.]

2) Diverse mix of uses surrounding a core of daily conveniences and transit service.

3) Pedestrian-friendly physical design which encourages walking and bicycling.

Visit the web site below for more information about the Metropolitan Council's approach to TOD.

Suggested by: Philipp Muessig
Added: 02/8/01
Updated: 07/22/11