Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a land use pattern and development style with unique characteristics based on the proximity and relationship of property to a transit facility, such as a light rail station. Special regulations and plans are developed to take advantage of the development potential in the surrounding area.
One important goal of TOD is to create a pedestrian-friendly environment that encourages people to leave their cars at home and use transit. In order to change commuting habits, a variety of activities—shopping, entertainment, employment and even residential—must be located convenient to the transit facility. This mix of uses should also be designed to extend activities beyond the workday into evenings and weekends.
Four light rail stations are currently located within Richardson—Spring Valley, Arapaho Center, Galatyn Park, and CityLine/Bush. A potential station adjacent to the University of Texas at Dallas on the Cotton Belt line is currently being studied.
TOD planning may include:
- Directing and performing land use plans, market analyses, and other special studies related to TOD.
- Developing, implementing, and monitoring zoning ordinances and development regulations targeted at encouraging TOD.
- Facilitating partnerships among landowners, developers, the local transit agency (DART), and the City.
- Participating in the development, implementation, and monitoring of Transportation Management Associations (TMAs), special organizations providing additional types of transportation services to transit riders, such as shuttles to work and shopping, carpool and vanpool matching, etc.
- Educating the public about the opportunities and benefits of TOD.