Most TODs have a diverse mix of uses like housing, jobs, retail, and entertainment, all within walking distance of a transit stop. As long as a transit route has frequent service (buses that come at least every 15 minutes for most of the day), TODs may occur. As they develop, these walkable areas are likely to include less parking than is typical because when a person’s daily needs (like grocery stores) are within a short walk or transit ride of their home, they are less likely to use a car to make those trips. To learn more about TOD and what it is, check out this handy infographic.
Neighborhoods with good transit service have more stable property values, and they sometimes command premium prices.
Frequent, reliable transit service improves access to jobs, education, and healthcare for low-income people and working families.
TOD is more densely populated and more valuable per acre than conventional single-use neighborhoods, so it generates more state and local tax revenue and costs less to serve.
2015 marked the completion of a regional TOD Strategic Plan. Its purpose is to comprehensively analyze potential future locations for TOD. As noted in that plan, research indicates that transit alone will not lead to redevelopment if the fundamentals necessary to support market-based real estate investment are not present. However, in areas with strong market fundamentals, rapid transit access can enhance the viability of real estate investment and development. This is especially true in “cooler” market locations, such as Indianapolis, where public investment may be necessary to catalyze private sector investment. This is why transit is considered a market enhancer, but not a market maker by itself.
Two factors measure the important aspects of an area’s TOD potential: TOD Readiness and Market Strength.
The TOD Readiness rating includes variables that are quantitative, objective measures of an area’s physical readiness for transit oriented development. These measure features of an area that are expensive or impractical to change including:
The Market Strength rating is a measure of the current real estate market’s ability to support transit oriented development.
A composite of these ratings was created and shown for each potential station location in the “heat map” (below). The “hottest” locations for TOD, or those with the best potential to generate further investment after transit improvements take place, are shown in dark red. The “coolest” locations are shown in light blue. Scores for the entire Indy Connect system evaluated thus far (along rapid transit corridors) range from a low of 33 to a high of 253.