Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Transit-Oriented Tools for Metropolitan Planning Organizations

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) has released a guide, “Transit-Oriented Tools for Metropolitan Planning Organizations” to aid Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in taking a more proactive role in planning and promoting compact growth along transit corridors.  Funded through a cooperative agreement between Reconnecting America and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the guide highlights best practices related to regulations, funding, information sharing and partnerships.

In recent years, many MPOs have taken a leadership role in combining growth plans and transit including: Atlanta where “livable communities” planning grants have been offered; the San Francisco Bay Area, which requires certain thresholds of housing density before funding transit extensions; and Portland, which provides direct financial assistance for TOD projects.  However, according to Catherine Cox Blair, Program Director at Reconnecting America, “Many MPOs would like to direct their resources in the TOD arena but do not have the proper tools. This guide outlines how MPOs and transit agencies can work together to support the planning and implementation of TOD through station area plans and parking strategies, capital improvements and funding for infrastructure that supports station access.”

Charlie Goodman, Director, Office of Systems Planning at FTA says, “This guide will be extremely useful for MPOs of all sizes. It is based on research and national case studies, and includes proven practical strategies to not only incentivize TOD, but to promote more effective integration of land use and transportation planning on a regional basis.”

With the release of the guide, CTOD will work with FTA, the American Public Transit Association (APTA ) and other transit industry partners to develop training modules for conferences and other events throughout 2010.   Webinars and annotated Powerpoint presentations will be accessible via the internet. For further information and to see a copy of the guide, go to

The text above is taken from a Press Release, obviously aimed at Americans. In Canada we do not have MPOs. In Greater Vancouver (or “Metro” if you go for neoligisms) there are two regional agencies that say they are working together to produce a better integration of transit and land use planning. Which would be encouraging if Metro had any planning powers it could use effectively to change the currently developing pattern of land use, or if Translink had any ability to determine its own future.

But I know that readers of this blog like to keep abreast of developments in places where they try to do things better so there could well be useful information in the guide. So I thought I should pass this along.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Urban Planning

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