National Academies Press: OpenBook

Bus Transit Service in Land Development Planning (2006)

Chapter: Chapter One - Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter One - Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Bus Transit Service in Land Development Planning. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14002.
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3Bus transit provides many benefits to transit riders, the envi- ronment, and the business community. Transit serves low income populations that have no other travel alternatives, but also increasingly serves higher income groups who choose to ride transit because it is cheaper and less stressful than driving. The availability of transit allows for higher density of devel- opment and increases the market area of adjoining businesses. To support transit users there must be coordination between transit agencies and land development projects. This coordination extends beyond the bus stop or the street on which the bus operates. Access to transit from the surround- ing environs is as important as the service itself. If access to a bus stop is blocked by physical barriers, such as iron fenc- ing or busy arterial streets without safe crosswalks, then the transit service is effectively unavailable. Influencing the form of land use and new development is not usually within the scope of transit planners. That respon- sibility generally rests with local elected officials. Transit planners must build relationships with local governments and other stakeholders to improve the integration of bus tran- sit and land development. PROJECT BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES This synthesis documents the relationship between bus tran- sit service and planning for land development. It identifies practices that are used to ensure that transit interests play a meaningful role in the planning and design of new develop- ments. The synthesis also provides the state of the practice regarding the use and components of transit agency develop- ment guidelines. TECHNICAL APPROACH TO PROJECT This synthesis is based on a literature review, a survey of selected transit agencies, and development of case studies. The literature review was conducted to assess the body of research available on this subject. On-line searches were con- ducted using a variety of government and university data- bases, including the Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS). Documents directly related to this subject are included as references throughout this report and in the Bibliography. The Bibliography also includes websites that contain relevant and interesting information on this subject. Transit agencies were surveyed to determine their experi- ences with land developments. Questions were posed to examine various aspects of the development process, includ- ing levels of coordination, relationships with stakeholders, and an assessment of how soon transit is considered in devel- opment planning. Agencies were asked to provide examples of successful as well as unsuccessful projects. The survey of selected transit agencies also explored the purpose and use of transit agency development guidelines. The components of the guidelines were identified and copies of guidelines were requested. In addition, the survey provided an opportunity for transit agencies to answer open-ended questions to probe for best practices and major challenges. Five case studies were developed to highlight successful coordination efforts between bus transit planning and land development planning. The case studies are the Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX) in Orlando, Florida; the Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA) in State College, Pennsylvania; Omnitrans in San Bernardino, California; Metro Transit in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and GO Boulder in Boulder, Colorado. REPORT ORGANIZATION This report is organized into the following chapters: • Chapter One—Introduction • Chapter Two—Literature Review • Chapter Three—Survey Results • Chapter Four—Case Studies • Chapter Five—Challenges to Integrating Bus Transit Service and Land Development Planning • Chapter Six—Strategies That Support Integration of Bus Transit Service and Land Development Planning • Chapter Seven—Use and Application of Guidelines to Incorporate Bus Transit Service into New Developments • Chapter Eight—Conclusions References and a Bibliography are provided at the end of the report. Appendixes include the survey questionnaire annotated with number of responses (Appendix A), a list of agencies that responded to the survey (Appendix B), and a list of transit agencies that provided transit agency develop- ment guidelines (Appendix C). Web links are provided for those agencies with on-line guidelines. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Synthesis 67: Bus Transit Service in Land Development Planning examines successful strategies that assist in the incorporation of bus transit service into land developments, as well as the challenges that transit agencies face when attempting to do so. The report also explores the state of the practice regarding the use and components of transit agency development guidelines.


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