What is MITOD?
Transit-oriented development (TOD) is commonly defined as high-density, mixed-use development within walking distance (a 1/2 mile) of a transit station. TOD provides a range of benefits including increased transit ridership, reduced regional congestion and pollution, and healthier, more walkable neighborhoods. Neighborhoods with a mix of both affordable and market-rate housing can also provide many benefits, such as reducing income segregation and providing lower-income residents with opportunities to move up the occupational and social ladders. Mixed-income, transit-oriented communities can achieve not only the separate benefits of TOD and mixed-income housing, but also reap synergistic benefits that come from bringing the two together.
The benefits of MITOD include:
Many lower-income households make significant trade-offs between lower housing prices and higher commute costs. Providing low-cost housing near transit can significantly lower the combined housing and transportation burden. While the average American family spends roughly 19 percent of household income on transportation, households with access to good transit service spend only 9 percent.
Lower income-households are more transit-dependent and less likely to own a car than other demographic groups, and are more likely than higher-income households to use transit for non-work trips during “off-peak” hours. Mixed-income transit-oriented development helps ensure that transit’s highest percentage riders have access to transit, helping to stabilize or increase transit ridership.
Housing opportunities near transit for low-income households can improve access to employment, education, and services, without the high transportation costs associated with driving.
When more workers live in areas with easy access to transit, employers benefits from broader recruitment, improved retention, and reduced tardiness.
The hallmarks of transit-oriented communities – a diversity of land uses, grid street and sidewalk networks, close proximity of housing, retail and employment, and accessible, high-quality transit – are highly correlated with higher rates of walking and biking, lower probabilities of being overweight or obese, and lower risks of life threatening, obesity-related diseases for residents.