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Transit-oriented development

Planning and conservation    Urban development and revitalization    Transit-oriented development

Discover how Metro is helping spark vibrant downtowns and main streets through public/private partnerships, investments and incentives in key development projects located near transit.

Focusing housing and employment near transit is one of the most effective ways to reduce regional road congestion, improve air quality and increase transit ridership. Car trips are less frequent in centers with a balance of jobs, housing and urban amenities. Focusing development in existing urban areas uses land more efficiently, reduces the need for costly new public facilities and prevents unnecessary conversion of farmland and natural areas to urban use. It can also spur the revitalization of existing neighborhoods, stimulating the creation of more vibrant communities throughout the region.

The region's long-range plan, the 2040 Growth Concept, calls for substantial amounts of the region's growth to occur in medium- to high-density mixed-use, walkable urban centers and corridors linked by high quality transit service. While this approach appeals to many citizens, public officials, planners and innovative developers, the creation of mixed-use, higher density districts has not been widely embraced by the development community, largely due to economic infeasibility. Metro's Transit-Oriented Development Program aims to provide built examples of transit-oriented development projects and to demonstrate the potential of public-private partnerships for making great communities.

Interested in partnering with Metro?

Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development Program uses various approaches to identify qualified developers interested in partnering with Metro to create compact transit-oriented communities.

Request for proposal (RFP), request for qualifications (RFQ), or unsolicited proposal processes may be used for properties owned by Metro’s TOD Program. Metro currently owns property in the Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro and Milwaukie.View property descriptions

Developers with site control may take the initiative to contact Metro directly to determine eligibility for funding for compact and mixed-use TOD projects that would not be feasible without public participation.

For more information, call Megan Gibb, development center manager, at 503-797-1753 or send e-mail to


Metro's Transit-Oriented Development Program has contributed to many of the regions' successful transit-oriented developments and has acquired key opportunity sites at transit stations. Through active engagement in the design and construction of real projects, the program has helped identify and remove obstacles to the creation of transit villages, main streets and mixed-used urban centers envisioned by the 2040 Growth Concept.


In 1998, Metro's Transit-Oriented Development Program was the first in the nation to receive authorization to use federal transportation funding to specifically acquire land for redevelopment adjacent to a light rail station. This authorization set the stage for Department of Transportation acceptance of the close relationship between development patterns and travel behavior. Other innovations include:

  • resale of land with federal interest at a reduced cost to acknowledge that building at densities ahead of the market negatively affects economic feasibility of development
  • development of an induced transit ridership model to compare transit impacts of alternative development programs
  • the creation of the transit oriented development easement.

The Transit-Oriented Development Program provides financial incentives and uses public/private partnerships to enhance the economic feasibility of higher density mixed-use projects served by transit. The program uses site control and requests for proposals and qualifications to engage a private development partner or purchases a transit-oriented development easement on projects eligible for program funding. The program continues to build capacity of the private sector to develop projects that meet regional planning objectives while demonstrating to the public that the future they envisioned is indeed possible, and is happening.

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Related Links

Transit-Oriented Development Steering Committee

The Transit-Oriented Development Steering Committee makes recommendations to the Metro Council about high-density sustainable development projects close to transit.

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2012-13 annual report

Front of TOD annual report
Transit-oriented Development program 2012-13 annual report

Did you know that the 29 TOD projects completed to date leveraged over $484 million in total development activity in the Portland region?

Learn more about the accomplishments of Metro's Transit-oriented Development program by reading the 2012-13 annual report.

Download report

news highlights

Cover of TOD strategic plan

TOD strategic plan

Discover the long-term goals of Metro's Transit-oriented Development Program to establish a system wide station and corridor typology. Learn how the plan helps direct program activities, investments, partnership opportunities and technical assistance.

Read the executive summary
Download the plan

Station area typology

Map of station area typology in Denver

How do transit station types shape development?

Learn how station area typology systems are being used to guide and foster transit-oriented development in a presentation from Reconnecting America's Centers for Transit-Oriented Development. Download presentation

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