Development of a Model to Assess the Feasibility of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Projects

After the Second World War, America saw a decline in ridership on transit systems which eventually resulted in the dismantling and abandonment of many rail systems. The primary mode of public transportation shifted from transit to buses, which used the same streets and competed with the same congestion as automobiles. For this reason, bus systems also started to fail when people realized that if they have to wait in the traffic, they might as well do it in their own automobile, which provides higher flexibility of timing and route (Ditmar, Belzer and Autler, 2004). This shift, in effect, resulted in more congestion. To counter the problem of congestion resulting from modern urbanization, the society developed the idea of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). TOD (or similar concepts like transit village, transit-friendly design, and transit-supportive development) is a type of development designed in a fashion that encourages the use of public transit and the creation of pedestrian-friendly environments (TCRP, 2002). TOD results in an urban land use in which residents live within walking distance of a transit station. TODs also require providing access for job centers, educational centers, retail stores, and cultural facilities close to the transit station (Arrington and Cervero, 2008). It is believed that when people have their residences and offices near the transit route, they are more likely to ride (Arrington and Cervero, 2008; Nasri and Zhang, 2014). Many factors have made the TOD more favorable to be implemented than ever before. The increase in population share of singles and single-parent families, childless couples, ‘empty-nesters’, and the influence of immigrants who come from societies that are transit-friendly have created an ideal consumer market for transit- oriented development (Calthorpe, 1993). Even though circumstances look feasible for TOD, there are factors that need to be investigated and understood before developing new TOD projects in different scenarios. For example, building codes, standards for building heights, density limits, and development rules that work against station-area development might result in the failure of TOD. Some other factors such as location liabilities might impact the feasibility of TOD; as ridership/development might look attractive on paper, but private developers might not be as excited as the ones who wrote the TOD proposal. Against common perception, research by Zhang (2005) has shown that mixed-land use and high density might be insignificant factors in success of a TOD project based on a case study of Atlanta Metropolitan area. This challenges the common perception of factors, which were taken at face value and mostly left unquestioned. Given all of these, there is a need to perform an in-depth analysis of the parameters that result in the success of a TOD project and develop a model to guide the decision-makers in determining as to whether to move forward with a TOD project or not.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $71397
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    Colorado State University, Fort Collins

    Fort Collins, CO  United States  80523
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ozbek, Mehmet

    Strong, Kelly

  • Start Date: 20150625
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180731
  • Actual Completion Date: 20171003
  • Source Data: MPC-485

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01579602
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 23 2015 4:35PM