Transit Oriented Development Studies 

At the same time Phase 1 (Los Angeles to Pasadena) was under construction, the Construction Authority began working with cities from Arcadia to Montclair to explore their visions for integrating transit oriented development (TOD) into their plans for the future.

Cities such as Monrovia, Azusa and San Dimas were already investigating the "return of rail" as a catalyst to revive historic downtown districts adjacent to the original rail system that served passengers decades prior. The restoration of historic depots was also integral to this vision.

Cities further east along the route - - Claremont and Montclair specifically - - already had Metrolink operations serving their communities. For these cities, the addition of a Metro Gold Line light rail system sharing both station location and right-of-ways made the prospect of creating new development around an improved public transit system even more appealing, and in the case of Claremont, propelled TOD construction toward faster completion.

In 2006, the Construction Authority was awarded a $1.2 million federal grant to study TOD opportunities around each of the station areas located in the Pasadena to Azusa Extension and the Azusa to Montclair Extension. The grant provided an opportunity for cities to build on their preliminary TOD land use concepts to produce more detailed visions and advanced plans for areas within a ½-mile radius around their proposed station area.

The Construction Authority worked with city staff, elected officials and interested stakeholders between 2006-2007 to craft station area development concepts supported by TOD land use policies and market factors. Additional work components included a corridor-wide market analysis, parking evaluation as well as recommended planning and policy guidelines.

The 2006 study concluded that there was significant land development potential around each of the 12 station areas, and identified 1,200 acres of opportunity sites that could conservatively accommodate 17,000 housing units, three million square feet of retail space, and 7.5 million square feet of office space. A potential $43.5 billion total economic impact was estimated based on public and private investment, which resulted in an impressive outcome – for every public dollar invested in building the Foothill Extension, $43.5 of private investment and economic development benefits would be returned. These results were based on the economic conditions at the time of the study, and looked at a 22-year build out (2008-2030).

Click here to view a summary of the 2006 TOD Study - Final Report

2010 TOD Study:

With the significant economic downturn experienced since completion of the 2006 study, the Construction Authority in 2010 was awarded a second federal grant to understand how the changed economic conditions would likely impact the timing of development along the corridor.

This second study reviewed the TOD opportunities around each station to determine that the development potential identified in the first study was still possible long term, though momentarily slowed due to the economy. However, the concept of TOD has been refined in terms of economics, sustainability, and livability to offer a more holistic approach to transit oriented districts as opposed to individual developments – this is based on the added need for city facilitation (through investment in public infrastructure and flexible planning policy) to move projects forward.

The information generated as part of the 2010 Study will be instrumental in TOD implementation along the Foothill Extension. Results from the market reassessment, for the city and corridor, have affirmed that the long-term outlook for TOD remains strong and that precedence for development within the corridor will be determined by the level of TOD readiness at each station.

Based on the findings of the market reassessment, the 2010 Study advanced the TOD planning efforts of cities and identified a flexible approach to development/implementation that is cohesive to today’s economic challenges. The “building block” approach matches the individual components of TOD visions (streetscape, bicycle connectivity, urban greening, community anchors, employment centers, parks and open space, station area branding, etc) to multiple funding sources, both public and private, allowing for the build-out of each station area. This concept was applied to each of the 12 Gold Line stations and illustrated through a new three dimensional planning tool that is interactive and web-based. The final work product gave each city a powerful tool to pursue a TOD vision that is unique to their individual city.