©2019 Claremont South Village

What is Transit Oriented Development?

Transit-oriented development (TOD) brings compact, mixed-use development within walking distance of high capacity rapid transit. TOD links transportation and land use—providing people with maximum choice in how to get around by intensifying activities near transit nodes with high quality public space. Transit-oriented development is an essential tool that is used all over the world to address housing and climate concerns.

TOD is a category of Smart Growth, New Urbanism, and Location Efficient Development

Smart Growth



Compact Development.

Infill (brownfield) development.

Mixed Land Use.

Human scale with smaller buildings,
blocks and roads. More detail, since people experience the landscape up close, as pedestrians.

Local, distributed, smaller. Accommodates walking access.

Multi-modal transportation and land use patterns that support walking, cycling and public transit.

Highly connected roads, sidewalks
and paths, allowing relatively
direct travel by motorized and non-motorized modes.

Traffic calming streets designed to accommodate a variety of activities.

Limited supply and efficient management.

Planned and coordinated between jurisdictions and stakeholders.

Emphasis on the public realm (streetscapes, pedestrian environment, public parks, public facilities).


Urban periphery (greenfield) development

Homogeneous land uses

Large scale with larger buildings,
blocks, wide roads. Less detail, since people experience the landscape at a distance, as motorists.

Regional, consolidated, larger. Requires automobile access.

Automobile-oriented transportation and land use patterns, poorly suited for
walking, cycling and transit.

Hierarchical road network with numerous loops and dead-end streets, and unconnected sidewalks and paths, with many barriers to non-motorized travel.

Streets designed to maximize motor vehicle traffic volume and speed.

Generous supply and minimal management.

Unplanned, little coordination with jurisdictions and stakeholders.

Emphasis on the private realm (yards, shopping malls, gated communities, private clubs).

What are the benefits of
Transit Oriented Development?

Improve Home Values:
The average home price for a house in a TOD zip code was four times the value of the average home price in a non-TOD zip code.

Increased Retail Sales:
Transit-oriented development leads to great household savings on transportation costs, which provide households with more disposable income to spend in the regional economy.

Increased Access to Opportunity:
Compact, walkable and safe public space combined with mobility choices increases access to goods, services, and jobs for people from all walks of life. Transit-oriented development strategically links housing and jobs to reduce dependency on vehicle commuting and increase access to high-quality employment.

Increased Transit Ridership:
TOD produces an appreciable ridership increase for public transportation. Research finds that people who are predisposed towards a more environmentally-conscious and transit-oriented lifestyle will seek out this type of development.

Reduced Vehicle Miles Traveled:
TODs are incredibly effective at reducing household vehicle miles traveled by providing safe and convenient access to active mobility (walking, biking, transit). Studies show that TODs reduce household VMT by 50-60%.

Reduced Congestion and Traffic:
Successful TOD’s reduce the average vehicles per household. Research find there is an average reduction of 0.63 vehicles per household with TOD.  

Reduced Green House Gas Emissions:
Transit-oriented development has the potential to reduce household greenhouse gas emissions between 50-60%. Transportation is the single largest source of carbon emissions in California, and TOD is an effective tool in creating culture and community that is oriented towards more sustainable forms of transportation.

Reduced Household Energy Usage:
Housing location and proximity to transit is an important determinant of household energy consumption. An average person that moves from suburban single family home will reduce their energy use by 40% by moving to a multifamily TOD. 

Reduce Crime and Increase Safety:
Recent research validates the theory that more compact, mixed development tends to reduce crime by increasing passive surveillance ("eyes on the street") by responsible (non-criminal) people who live, work, and walk in an area. Furthermore, transit travel has less than a tenth the crash casualty rate as automobile travel, and transit-oriented development residents experience less than a fifth of the traffic casualty rate, per capita, as automobile-oriented communities.

Reduced Household Spending on Transportation:
Transportation is the second largest household expense after housing. TOD allows households to live close to transit and save on the high cost of personal vehicle ownership. Claremont residents spend on average 43% of their income on housing, and 25% of their income on transportation.