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Austin, Texas Shows the Way to Plan and Design Transit Oriented Development

Capital Metro in Austin, Texas recently published a set of outstanding resources for planning and designing Transit Oriented Development: a Transit Design Guide, a TOD Priority Tool and a TOD Guide. Way to go, Austin!

December 12, 2018, 9:00 AM PST

By Todd Litman


The Saltillo Lofts are built across the street from the Plaza Saltillo Station in Austin, Texas. | peter french / Flickr

Capital Metro in Austin, recently published a set of outstanding resources for planning and designing Transit Oriented Development (TOD):

  • The Transit Design Guide is a best practices manual for designing transit-supportive roadways and facilities to enhance bus and rail service and operations.
  • The TOD Priority Tool provides a framework for evaluating development potential around high-capacity stations.
  • The TOD Guide is a best practices manual for TOD and placemaking.


What is Transit-Oriented Development?

Transit-oriented development (TOD) is an attractive, walkable, and sustainable development pattern around high-capacity transit that maximizes transit ridership and offers residents ample vibrant housing choices and convenient access to jobs, services and diverse amenities.

The TOD Priority Tool

Capital Metro is taking a system-wide approach to encourage TOD along the high-capacity MetroRapid and MetroRail transit corridors and enable transit communities for all residents. The new TOD Priority Tool provides a foundation to guide public and private investment around transit stations through:

  • Creating an implementation action plan tool through research and analysis of the existing state of transit oriented development
  • Providing on the ground, station-level action items with the intent to foster implementation of TOD at high-capacity transit stations
  • Establishing a close interrelationship between land use decisions and transit system efficiencies to improve both.

Station Areas

This TOD Priority Tool is focused on areas within a half-mile radius around high-capacity transit stations on the MetroRapid and MetroRail system. 

  • About TOD - Learn about the benefits and opportunities of TOD.
  • Typology - See station areas organized according to character and readiness.
  • Implementation - Find out what's needed to bring TOD to reality.
  • Interactive Map - Learn where the opportunities are.

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