Benefits of Transit-Oriented Development
- TOD can improve public health. A community with a strong and dependable transit system and streetscaping elements can discourage vehicle dependence and congestion. A TOD community is thought to improve community health and even reduce obesity. A research article titled The Effect of Light Rail Transit on Body Mass Index and Physical Activity found that commuters who took a newly installed train were about 6.45 pounds lighter than those who continued driving to work.
- TOD can create a more sustainable community. The Center for Transit-Oriented Development reported in Planning for TOD at the Regional Scale that transportation contributes about 28 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, TOD has the potential to reduce annual GHG. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission found in their GHG inventory that Philadelphia had lower transportation-related emissions per capita because of a higher reliance on public transit.
- TOD can strengthen local economies. Improving local public transit can cut vehicle transportation costs and time spent on commuting. With reduced commuting times and costs, people will be able to spend their time and money at restaurants, shops, and museums in the local area. The Center for Transit-Oriented Development reports that a compact community with a strong transit system can create jobs and also attract a young, innovative talent pool.
Source: Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit-Oriented Development
- A community with TOD elements costs less than suburban sprawl. Sprawl development is costly because it requires the expansion of public infrastructure and utilities. TOD promotes a compact community and uses existing infrastructure. A transit-dependent community saves money on repairing infrastructure as vehicle use decreases.
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