This study advances land use, transportation planning, and public finance research by identifying: a) the various land use, zoning, and value capture-related barriers to the construction of transit-oriented developments (TODs); and b) the major strategies that are commonly used or could be used to address these barriers. The value capture (VC) tools include joint development projects, tax increment financing, special assessments, lease/sale of land or air rights, and impact fees. The research finds that while a large proportion of jurisdictions across the US have TODs, land use, zoning, and VC-related barriers often impede their construction. Most transit agencies are not allowed to purchase land for constructing TODs, nor do they have land use and zoning powers over the station-area land. In the absence of legally enforceable inter-agency agreements between city governments and transit agencies, a large proportion of these public agencies rely on looser, collaborative agreements. Finally, while the use of eminent domain to assemble land parcels is critical for constructing TODs in already-developed areas, local governments rarely use this power to enable TODs.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transportation/Land Use/Environment

Digital Object Identifier

MTI Project



Transit-oriented development, Land use, Zoning, Value capture, Public transit


Infrastructure | Public Policy | Transportation (61 kB)

1819-RB-Mathur-Promoting-TOD-Developments.pdf (384 kB)
Research Brief