What is National Transit Oriented Development Policy? (Important) (Download PDF)

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Transit Oriented Development (TOD) integrates land use and transport planning to develop planned sustainable urban growth centers, having walkable and livable communes with high density mixed land-use. Citizens have access to open green and public spaces and at the same time transit facilities are efficiently utilized.

Image of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) integrates land

Image of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Integrates Land

Image of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) integrates land

Details of the Planning Aspects

  • TOD focuses on creation of high density mixed land use development in the influence zone of transit stations, i. e. within the walking distance of (500 - 800 m) transit station or along the corridor in case the station spacing is about 1km.

  • TOD advocates pedestrian trips to access various facilities such as shopping, entertainment, and work.

  • TOD increases the accessibility of the transit stations by creating pedestrian and Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) friendly infrastructure that benefits large number of people, thereby increasing the ridership of the transit facility and improving the economic and financial viability of the system.

  • Since the transit corridor has mixed land-use, where the transit stations are either origin (housing) or destination (work), and the corridor experiencing peak hour traffic in both directions optimizing the use of the transit system.

Need for a National TOD Policy

With rapid growth, transit systems like metro rail, BRTS, etc. are being implemented to cater to the growing travel demand- thus it is inevitable to have TOD for existing or future mass transit systems

State government are required to manage the urban spaces, however a National TOD policy would serve as guidelines and play a catalytic role in formulating state and city level policies

Objectives of TOD Policy

  • Integrate land use and transport planning to develop compact growth centers within the influence zone of 500 - 800 m on either side of the transit stations i. e. areas within walking distance, to:

  • Promote the use of public transport by developing high-density zones in the influence area, which would increase the share of transit and walk trips made by the residents/workers to meet the daily needs and result in reduction in pollution and congestion in the influence area.

  • Provide all the basic needs of job, shopping, public amenities, and entertainment in the influence zone with mixed land-use development, which would reduce the need for travel.

  • Establish a dense road network within the development area for safe and easy movement and connectivity of NMT and pedestrians between various uses as well as to transit stations.

  • Achieve reduction in the private vehicle ownership, traffic and associated parking demand.

  • Develop inclusive habitat in the influence area so that the people dependent on public transport can live in the livable communities within the walkable distance of transit stations.

  • Integrate the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and affordable housing in the influence zone by allocating a prescribed proportion of built-up area for them in the total housing supply.

  • Provide all kinds of recreational, entertainment, open spaces, required for a good quality of life in the influence area.

  • Ensure development of safe society with special attention to safety of women, children, senior citizen, and differently abled by making necessary amendments to the building byelaws.

  • Prevent urban sprawl by accommodating the growing population in a compact area with access to the transit corridor, which would also consolidate investments and bring down the infrastructure cost for development.

  • Reduce carbon footprints by shifting towards environmentally friendly travel options for the line haul as well as for access and egress trips.

Key Aspects and Principles of TOD

Influence Zone

  • The area in the immediate vicinity of the transit station, i. e. within a walking distance.

  • Generally up to a radius of nearly 500 - 800m of the transit station. Where the distance between the transit stations is less than 1 km and there is overlap in the influence area, it can be identified as a delineated zone (around 500m) on either side of the transit corridor within 10 - 12 minutes walking distance.

Image of Influence Zone

Image of Influence Zone

Image of Influence Zone

High Density Compact Development

  • TOD promotes densification in the influence area by providing higher Floor Area Ratio (FAR) / Floor Space Index (FSI) and higher population & job density as compared to the area around and beyond the influence areas

  • Cities should follow green building norms, adopt renewal sources of energy such as solar and waste to energy options, adopt rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge techniques, which would encourage water conservation, utilization of clean energy and promote sustainable waste management to make them self-sustaining through efficient use of resources and infrastructure.

Mixed Use Development

  • Mixed land use should be stipulated for development and redevelopment in the TOD zone reducing the need for travel by providing most of the activities such as shopping, entertainment and public amenities such as schools, parks, playgrounds, hospitals etc. within the walking distance of the residents.

  • Improve the accessibility of the transit facilities and at the same time link origins and destinations, i. e. residences with work places or activity nodes ensuring better utilization of transit fleet by distributing loads in both directions, rather than creating unidirectional peak hour flows

Mandatory and Inclusive Housing

  • The cities should fix a minimum percentage (30 % or higher) of allowed FAR for affordable housing (for example up to 60 sq. mt. area) in all development/redevelopment in the influence zones.

  • Housing in the influence zone should have a mix of all economic groups sections.

  • To ensure provision of EWS housing, a 10 - 15 percentage of built up area in the influence zone should be defined. This could be ensured by providing mandatory incentive of additional FAR for EWS housing. It should also be ascertained that only low-income families/individuals are provided ownership of these EWS units.

Multimodal Integration

  • The influence area should have high quality integrated multimodal transport system for the optimum use of the facilities by the residents and users.

  • System should have seamless physical connectivity, information integration and fare integration across modes so that the first and last mile connectivity does not become a bottleneck in the use of public transit systems by the citizens.

  • Intermediate Public Transport (IPT), Non-Motorized Transport (NMT), and feeder buses perform a significant role in providing first and last mile connectivity.

  • Park and ride facilities may be provided, if needed.

  • The hierarchy of the facilities at the transit system should prioritize pedestrians followed by bicycle, feeder buses, drop-off facilities and park and ride facility in the given order

Image of TOD Components

Image of TOD Components

Image of TOD Components

Focus on Pedestrians, Cyclists and NMT Users

  • The streets should be designed for users of all age groups and for all types of commuters including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders. They should be safe and accessible by all.

  • Universal Accessibility: All streets should be designed to meet or exceed the minimum standards stipulated for barrier free environment by Government of India to ensure universal accessibility for people with reduced mobility including visually and hearing impaired persons.

  • Traffic Calming: To promote a safe and secure environment for pedestrian and NMT users, necessary measures should be taken to reduce speed as well as volume of motorized traffic in the influence zone.

Street Oriented Buildings and Vibrant Public Spaces

  • Street Vendors: TOD aims at inclusive development wherein all users of the system are benefited. The street vendors are the eyes of the streets; hence, the designated spaces should be created for them while designing the streets.

  • Preserve Open Spaces: All open areas such as amenity spaces, green spaces, playgrounds, parks and natural areas should be preserved as part of TOD.

  • The streets should have a natural surveillance system by providing mixed-use active frontage, vending zones and avoiding opaque wall, which would ensure a safe environment for pedestrians, especially women, children and elderly.

  • Safety and Security: To ensure a safe and secure environment for pedestrian and NMT users, especially women and children, the influence zone should be designed to maximize natural surveillance

Managed Parking

  • Discourage the use of private vehicles and to manage parking in TOD, it is essential that the supply of the parking is reduced and made expensive within the influence zone.

Value Capture Financing (VCF) for TOD

  • The investment in transit system as well as increase in FAR and provision for mixed-use development would result in increase in value of land within the influence zone.

  • Land Value Capture can be used as a mechanism to finance the required upgradation of infrastructure and amenities within the influence zone and expansion of the public transport system

  • Land value capture can be done through enhanced or additional land value tax or one time betterment levy, development charges or impact fee, or transfer of development rights (TDRs)

Statutory Framework

  • TOD policy should be notified as part of the Master Plan and Development plan of the city. The policy document should clearly outline the importance of the high capacity transit networks in the city’s development

Coordination and Implementation

  • To ensure that TOD does not merely become a high density development along the transit, which may result in higher concentration of private vehicles and congestion, it is important that the ULBs make sure that all the important aspects of TOD, as given in earlier sections, are implemented in totality

Communications and Outreach

  • Cities may launch awareness program about the components of TOD, its benefits, incentives to be reaped by the land owners, developers, infrastructure agencies and other bodies, reduced per unit cost for creating and maintaining infrastructure etc. and provide improved quality of life.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 7, 2017

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