IntroductionFrameworkSite TypesLessonsPitfallsYour Project

Overview of Site:

Helps determine whether your site has TOD potential, and if so, helps you to start considering your site in context with the TOD framework established by SPC's study.

Types of Sites
Explore different types of TOD and how Zoning can be used to implement them.

Read about the importance of "Life Activity" at your potential site.

Read about three of the more prevalent problems encountered (partnerships, funding, and time) and suggestions for circumventing them.

Your Project
Fill out a TOD worksheet based on successful TOD sites that have a variety of factors in common. Once you create a logon and have entered your project data, you may view your TOD worksheet and also create a TOD Success Metric and TOD Overlay District Zoning Template.

Transit Station:  lawrence County


Website Objective

This website is for municipalities, planners, community development organizations, transit agencies, private developers or anyone considering whether Transit Oriented Development is an effective method for planning and developing sites around transit or transit station areas. The site will help to identify whether a site is suitable for TOD and to determine potential land use strategies to achieve TOD. By utilizing this site, important data related to demographics and density will be attained. This data can be used to determine the potential of TOD, develop a framework for site planning and identify potential pitfalls.

A Tool For TOD

Transit Oriented Development. TOD. It is an acronym (and a development concept) that is often spoken but seldom accomplished in Southwestern Pennsylvania. While TOD is not new, it has become in vogue as a development method to jump-start community revitalization. It takes advantage of some basic principles like integrating pedestrian scale development and transit with land use, and utilizing community assets like rail stations, transfer centers or major bus stops to initiate development. Encouraged by successes in places like Oregon and California, areas around the country are eager to learn more about TOD.

SPC Study

There have been few, if any, studies that resulted in a “how to guide” to implement TOD at a local level; however, recently, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) completed a project called “Region-Specific Success Factors for the Implementation of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and Transit Revitalization Investment Districts (TRID)” that identified the unique factors that make TOD successful in our region.

The Study’s strategy focused on gathering data and gaining knowledge of how TOD previously occurred along our region’s bus, light rail and commuter rail lines. The intention was to identify common success factors and the degrees to which those factors influence TOD in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

From this information, SPC created a matched set of How-To guides for TOD.

The Guides: PDF and "Virtual"

Download Future Investments in TOD (FIT) in PDF

Future Investment in TOD (FIT)

The first guide uses the Success Factors to determine if TOD is a good fit for a given site—what assets make TOD more likely to succeed? What do communities, planners and developers need to bring to the table? The result is FIT: Future Investment in TOD.

Future Investment in TOD (FIT) (download PDF, 928 KB)




FIT:  Zoning Guide:  Click To Download


Fit: Zoning

The second guide applies the FIT approach to zoning. How can a Pennsylvania municipality optimize its land use code to encourage the best TOD development? This booklet is called FIT: Zoning.

FIT: Zoning (download PDF, 8.86 MB)




In addition to the printable booklets, interactive online versions of the guides are available through this website. Using this website, you can fill out an electronic version of the FIT woksheet within the guide, and view your resulting TOD Success Metric. You can also input details about your municipality’s land use ordinances and goals for TOD success to see a model TOD Overlay Zoning Ordinance to spark conversation about using zoning to promote TOD. To do this online, please visit the "My Project" section. Still, if you prefer to use the PDF "hardcopy" of the guides, please download them using the links above.

Whether in PDF or in website form, FIT is a tool that describes how to apply the TOD success indicators to a potential site in order to determine whether that particular site is conducive to TOD. If there are undeveloped or underutilized properties in your community and you are wondering whether Transit Oriented Development is a viable approach to revitalization, application of the FIT system can help  your community develop alternatives.

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