Measuring the Promise of Transit-Oriented Development


Nina Rizzo

Year Published: 


Cover photo for Remixing Innovation for Mobility Justice:Download the report

This report is the culmination of a two-year project in which TransForm provided technical analysis and community engagement support for BART’s upcoming transit-oriented developments, with a focus on the El Cerrito Plaza and Lake Merritt stations. 

The report quantifies the collective benefits of hypothetical development scenarios at seven BART stations where new homes are most likely to be built on what are currently surface parking lots. It shows such development would create 4,837 new homes, 2,035 of which would be below market rate. These homes would generate two-thirds less GHG emissions than the regional average and bring 6,900 new daily BART riders to the system. On average, 90% of riders would take sustainable modes of transportation to their station, a 14% increase from pre-COVID levels. Although the methodology in the report is specific to BART’s TOD Policy Goals, it can be adapted to evaluate TOD in other places. 

The report also summarizes key findings from the technical assistance and community engagement work TransForm conducted during this project, with an eye to what may be applicable to other agencies and cities within and beyond the Bay Area. While this report is a technical document and a grant deliverable, it is also an advocacy tool that expresses TransForm’s mission around transit-oriented development and right-sized parking policies. We hope it will prove useful to BART and other transit agencies, cities, developers, and advocates as they work toward developing new housing near transit.                

Nina Rizzo is the primary author of this report. Several TransForm staff past and present made valuable edits and contributions to the report, as well as to the project it describes. as well as (add in BART staff names). Complete acknowledgments are included in the report.

This report and the project it describes was made possible by a Caltrans Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant. We’d like to thank BART for their partnership on the entire project. The opinions, recommendations, and conclusions in this report reflect TransForm’s independent analysis and not the positions of our funders or partners.