PUBLICATION

MTI Report 12-18

Research Report Measuring Benefits of Transit Oriented Development (PDF 6.8MB)

Principal Investigator:  Robert B. Noland, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT

Transit-oriented development (TOD) in New Jersey is evaluated using a variety of methods and different outcome measures. Data was gathered from respondents residing around eight train stations in New Jersey and up to two miles away from those stations. Additional data was gathered from four focus groups of those living near various train stations with some development and interviews with stakeholders engaged with the land development process. Three areas were also selected for a detailed case study analysis. Qualitative analysis focused on the perceptions of the benefits of TOD and any shortcomings that are seen. Analytical work included an analysis of travel behavior, including frequency of walking, driving and using transit; potential health benefits associated with living in proximity to a train station; social capital or civic engagement in areas proximate to the train station; traffic safety associated with proximity to the train station and other built environmental measures; residential property valuation associated with train station access and TOD amenities; benefits to users of rail transit for commute access to New York City and other destinations; and, an analysis of regional impacts using a regional travel demand model to examine changes in train usage and highway congestion. Beneficial effects of TOD and development near train stations is found in most of our results.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Robert B. Noland, Ph.D.

Robert B. Noland is a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and serves as the director of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center. He received his Ph.D. in Energy Management and Environmental Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Rutgers University, he was Reader in Transport and Environmental Policy at Imperial College London and a policy analyst at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also conducted postdoctoral research in the Economics Department at the University of California, Irvine. The focus of Dr. Noland’s research is the impacts of transport planning and policy on both economic and environmental outcomes. Work on economic effects has included examining behavioral reactions to changes in reliability, associations with the built environment and trip-chaining behavior. Environmental work includes impacts on safety, climate, health, and other factors associated with overall quality of life. Active research areas include developing methods to evaluate the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with building transport projects; evaluating the economic impacts of transit-oriented development; analysis of walking behavior and links to other travel behavior and the built environment; analysis of traffic and pedestrian safety using spatial analysis techniques; and assessment of the economic effects of transport investments, in particular those associated with agglomeration externalities. Dr. Noland’s research has been cited internationally in debates over transport infrastructure planning and environmental assessment of new infrastructure. He is currently associate editor of Transportation Research-D (Transport and Environment) and the International Journal of Sustainable Transportation and chair of the Transportation Research Board Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy.

Kaan Ozbay, PH.D.

Kaan M.A. Ozbay has joined Department of Civil and Urban engineering and Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) at NYU on August 2013. Professor Ozbay was a tenured full Professor at the Rutgers University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering until July 2013. He joined Rutgers University as an assistant professor in July, 1996. In 2008, he was a visiting scholar at the Operations Research and Financial Engineering (ORFE) Department of Princeton University. Dr. Ozbay’s research interests in transportation cover a wide range of topics, including the development of simulation models of large-scale complex transportation systems, advanced technology and sensing applications for intelligent transportation systems, modeling and evaluation of traffic incident and emergency management systems, feedback based on online, real-time traffic control techniques, traffic safety, application of operations research techniques in network optimization and humanitarian inventory control, and transportation economics.

Dr. Ozbay is the recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award. He has published approximately 300 refereed papers in scholarly journals and conference proceedings and serves as the associate editor of Networks and Spatial Economics and Transportmetrica B: Transportation Dynamics. He is also a member of the editorial board of the ITS journal. In 2013, Dr. Ozbay served as the elected member of the Board of Directors of the Intelligent Transportation Society of New Jersey. He is also a current member of the Board of Directors of the University Transportation Research Center (UTRC) at the City University of New York – USDOT’s Region 2 University Transportation Center. Since 1994, Dr. Ozbay, has been the principal investigator and co-principal investigator of 80 projects funded at a level of more than $12,000,000 by National Science Foundation, NJDOT, NYMTC, NY State DOT, New Jersey Highway Authority, USDOT, FHWA, VDOT, CUNY University Transportation Research Center (UTRC), Department of Homeland Security, and USDOT ITS Research Center of Excellence. He was the founding director of the Rutgers Intelligent Transportation Systems (RITS) laboratory that led ITS research and education activities at Rutgers University until 2013.

Stephanie DiPetrillo

Stephanie DiPetrillo is senior research specialist at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Rutgers University. She has more than 10 years of experience in transportation and urban planning research, as well as in historic preservation, architecture, and urban design. Her current work combines quantitative and qualitative techniques and principally examines connections between transportation and land use, chiefly transit, community transportation, and transit-oriented development (TOD). Past works include: Eliminating Barriers to TOD, Economic Development Benefits of New Transit Service: RiverLINE, and The Impact of Demographic Changes in Transit Patterns in New Jersey, all funded by the NJ DOT Research Bureau; and An Evaluation of Property Values in New Jersey Transit Villages funded by the New Jersey Association of Realtors Governmental Research Foundation.

She recently completed two projects that examined community transportation and its ability to serve people with disabilities in traveling to work. The first, A Strategy for Getting People with Disabilities to Work: Supporting NJ County Transportation, looked closely at the financial underpinnings of New Jersey’s county transportation providers, as well as national best practices for efficient and effective provision of community transportation. The second, Connecting to Jobs by Connecting to Transit, sought to develop, pilot, and refine a transportation orientation program for employment counselors working with people with disabilities. She is the editor of the online publication, NJTOD.org, home to a Transit-Friendly Development Newsletter, sponsored by NJ Transit, and is an advisor to The TOD Line, an online newsletter of TOD in New York and Connecticut. She has taught at Hofstra University, Rutgers University, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Ms. DiPetrillo holds a BA in Economics, a Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) from Rutgers, and a Master of Architecture from NJIT.

Shri Iyer

Shri Iyer was a Researcher in the Rutgers Intelligent Transportation Systems (RITS) Laboratory at Rutgers University from 2010-2013. At RITS Lab, his research interested included transportation modeling, economics of transportation investments, analysis of policy initiatives, and mode shift to public transit. He has experience on several federal- and state-funded research projects related to this study including Costs of Highway and Transit trips in the NY/NJ Region, Elimination of Weight Restrictions on Rail Lines, Feasibility of Freight Villages in the NYMTC Region, Impacts of the NJ Rail Grants Program, Handheld Devices on Rail for Fare Collection and Communication, Transit Origin-Destination Estimation Using Advanced Technologies, and Using GPS Data from Taxis to Understand Public Transit Demand and Choice. Shri is currently employed as a principal transportation planner at MTA New York City Transit.

TECHNICAL

Authors: Robert B. Noland, Ph.D., Kaan Ozbay, Ph.D., Stephanie DiPetrillo, Shri Iyer
Published: October 2014
Keywords: Transit-oriented development, Transit, Train stations, Rail stations, Pedestrians