Transit Oriented Development & Development Oriented Transport

Non-Technical Option | Generic Example
Land Use | Transport

View All


Transit (i.e. public transport) Oriented Development (TOD) and Development Oriented Transit (DOT) are two policy measures which complement one another. The aim of these measures is to provide high density land use developments and high frequency public transport systems in close proximity with one another, thereby successfully integrating land use and transport. In theory this enables easier travel from the home to the work place via public transport and/or cycling or walking, and can limit the use of private motorised modes. The influence of these measures may be complemented through parking restrictions at the origin and/or destination, thereby encouraging greater modal shift.


This measure is generally implemented at the local authority level. However, given the likely distances travelled between origins and destinations it may be necessary for several local authorities to collaborate, or for a national body to intervene and coordinate. Unfortunately given that it can take several years for land use developments and transport infrastructure projects to go from the planning stages to the implementation stage, it is likely that any potential TOD or DOT policy measures will take some time to implement. As such, these measures should be viewed as long term policy responses to problems such as traffic congestion, urban sprawl, and emissions to air.


If planned and implemented correctly this measure has potential to significantly influence travel patterns, and in particular modal shift. Furthermore by building compact urban areas it helps discourage sparse development and urban sprawl. However, the success of this measure will depend on the existing spatial structure of the urban area and the capacity and cost for developmental change. The effect of this measure on an existing low density polycentric city with dispersed travel patterns will be lower, slower and more costly than if implemented in a monocentric city with strong radial travel patterns. This is an important point to consider in the planning stage.

Costs & Benefits

Planning and consulting costs, investment, capital costs

Significant modal shift if implemented well, improvements in air quality and reduced emissions, compact development, reduced urban sprawl, health benefits

Evidence & Reference

Cervero, R., Murphy, S., Ferrell, C., Goguts, N., Yu-Hsin, T., Arrington, G.B., Boroski, J., Smith-Heimer, J., Golem, R., Peninger, P., Nakajima, E., Chui, R., Dunphy, R., Myrres, M., McKay, S., and Witenstein, N. (2004) Transit-oriented development in the United States: Experiences, challenges and prospects, TCRP Report 102, Transportation Research Board

Guidebook to Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in the US

Cervero, R. (1994) Transit-based housing in California: evidence on ridership impacts, Transport Policy, Vol. 1, pp. 174-183

This paper examines evidence on the degree to which existing housing complexes near rail stations in California have encouraged transit usage.

Dunphy, R.T. (2004) Who, what, where, why, in: Dunphy, R.T., Cervero, R., Dock, F.D., McAvey, M. Porter, D.R. and Swenson, C.J. (eds.) Developing Around Transit: Strategies and Solutions that Work, Washington DC: Urban Land Institute, pp. 3-29

This book focuses on practical TOD strategies proven to work in developing near transit stations as well as the broader fabric surrounding the transit district.

Renne, J.L. (2008) Smart growth and transit-oriented development at the State level: Lessons from California, New Jersey and Western Australia, Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 11, pp. 77-108

This article discusses the importance of state government participation in the planning and creation of policy to facilitate TOD and recommends elements for a model state TOD program.

Richardson, H.W. and Bae, C-H.C. (2004) Transportation and urban compactness, in: Hensher, D.A., Button, K.J., Haynes, K.E. and Stopher, P.R. (eds.) Handbook of Transport Geography and Spatial Systems, Amsterdam: Elsevier

This explores the relationships between transportation and the degree of urban compactness.

Schwanen, T., Dieleman, F.M. and Dijst, M. (2004) The impact of metropolitan structure on commute behaviour in the Netherlands: A multilevel approach, Growth and Change, Vol. 35, pp. 304-333

This paper analyses how monocentric and polycentric urban structures affect commuting in the Netherlands.

TRB(Transportation Research Board) (2006) TCRP Report 116: Guidebook for Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing Suburban Transit Services, Washington DC: National Academy Press

Guidebook for Evaluating, Selecting, and Implementing Suburban Transit Services in the US

Vuchic, V.R. (2005) Urban Transit: Operations, Planning and Economics, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Global in scope, up-to-date with current practice – book covering all aspects of urban transit operations, planning, and economics

Williams, J. and Banister, D. (1997) Land use Options to Reduce the Need to Travel, Paper presented at the RTPI Conference, West Midlands, June

Land use Options to Reduce the Need to Travel

Modelling this Measure

Modelling this measure is perhaps best conducted through GIS analysis whereby ‘layers’ are combined and overlaid to analyse the extent of integration between land use and transport in terms of TOD and DOT. These layers may include the past, present and planned transport networks and travel patterns, as well as the past, present and planned land use developments and density levels (available from development plans). Specifically, integration can be assessed in terms of the extent to which land use developments lie in close proximity to the transport network, and vice versa.

Once these policies have been pursued and developed, it should be possible to model the environmental impacts of them (i.e. impacts on air quality and GHG emissions). Any reduction in emissions is likely to be the result of more compact development and travel patterns, as well as improved modal shift.

Site Entry Created by Policy Measures Admin on Aug 19, 2010

Reference This Source (2019). Transit Oriented Development & Development Oriented Transport. Available: Last accessed: 19th February 2019

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this measure yet.

Add your Comment or Rate this Measure

Only registered users can comment on and rate material within the policy measures database.

Login using the form below or click here to register on the site.

Auto-login on future visits

Forgot your password?

Rate this Measure