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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Transit-Oriented Development

Click here to access the new TOD Guidance FAQs!

 

Transit-oriented development (TOD) creates dense, walkable, and mixed-use spaces near transit that support vibrant, sustainable, and equitable communities. TOD projects include a mix of commercial, residential, office, and entertainment land uses.

The FAST Act expanded RRIF and TIFIA program eligibility to include TOD projects and related infrastructure. To be eligible for loans through these programs, TOD projects must comply with the TOD-specific eligibility criteria, summarized below, the general provisions of the TIFIA and RRIF programs, and all applicable federal requirements. More detailed information on RRIF and TIFIA TOD eligibilities can be found in the TOD Guidance FAQs and more general information on the RRIF and TIFIA programs can be found in the Credit Programs Guide.

  RRIF TIFIA
Project Types
  • Economic development 
  • Related infrastructure and activities
  • Public infrastructure and related activities
  • Joint development
Project Eligibility
  • Incorporates private investment
  • Is physically or functionally related to a passenger rail station or multimodal station that includes rail service
  • Has a high probability of the applicant commencing the construction contracting process within 90 days of loan execution
  • Has a high probability of reducing the need for financial assistance under other federal programs related to the rail facility or service by generating revenue exceeding costs
  • Located within walking distance of, and accessible to, one or more of:
    • Fixed guideway transit facility
    • Passenger rail station
    • Intercity bus station
    • Intermodal facility

DOT TOD Resources

  • FTA Joint Development Guidance: Joint development refers to the coordinated development of transit facilities with non-transit private development, including residential, commercial, and mixed-use development. Joint development projects physically and/or functionally integrate transit and non-transit improvements and leverage public and private contributions to share benefits and costs. FTA-assisted joint development features the use of FTA financial assistance in the form of FTA funds or FTA-funded real property and for which FTA guidance applies. FTA has recently published changes to its Joint Development Guidance (Circular 7050.1B). The changes increase flexibility for transit agencies to pursue joint development projects, which FTA hopes will result in more value capture opportunities that help create value for both transit systems and surrounding communities.

  • FTA TOD Planning Grant Program: The Pilot Program for TOD Planning provides funding to local communities to integrate land use and transportation planning with a new fixed guideway or core capacity transit capital investment. Comprehensive planning funded through the program must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations.

  • FTA Value Capture Overview: Value capture strategies generate sustainable, long-term revenue streams that can help repay debt used to finance the upfront costs of building infrastructure, such as transit projects. Revenue from value capture strategies can also be used to fund the operations and maintenance costs of transit systems. Value capture strategies are public financing tools that recover a share of the value transit creates. Examples of value capture strategies used for transit include: tax increment financing, special assessments, and joint development. 

  • FHWA Value Capture Overview: The FHWA Center for Innovative Finance Support provides information and case studies on value capture mechanisms and innovative financing strategies for transportation projects, including transit, transit-oriented development, and joint development. Bureau loans for TOD projects may be leveraged to support land value capture or, conversely, serve as the financing instrument through which land value capture tools are leveraged to construct public infrastructure.

  • FTA Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program: CIG is a competitive and discretionary grant program that provides matching funds for transit capital investments. FTA assigns project ratings based on two categories of statutory criteria: project justification and local financial commitment. Existing land use and economic development effects are two of the six measures that factor into FTA’s rating on project justification. Subfactors for these measures include transit-supportive land uses, plans, policies, and tools, as well as evidence of their performance and impact. FTA guidance notes that joint development is a particularly important strategy for promoting station area development. In addition, CIG funds may be used to support joint development expenses as a component of the transit capital project.