Transit-Oriented Development

Connecting communities and unlocking value

Connecting the region

We plan and advocate for compact, mixed-use communities around MTA train stations and work to make sure our stations are well-integrated and accessible by foot, bike, and personal wheeled vehicles.

Screenshot of the First-Mile Last Mile Toolkit, showing the an interactive map of 15-min walk and bikesheds around LIRR Hempstead station.

The First Mile Last Mile Toolkit: Helping make car-free connections to commuter rail

As part of the MTA’s efforts to make system access more equitable and sustainable, TOD developed an interactive online toolkit that helps users identify and implement ways to make Metro-North and LIRR stations more accessible by foot, bike, and personal wheeled devices.  

Image of Wyandanch Rising, a mixed-use housing development adjacent to the LIRR Wyandanch Station

Wyandanch Rising: A new transit-oriented district for Suffolk County

To help the Town of Babylon create a walkable, transit-oriented neighborhood next to LIRR’s Wyandanch Station, the MTA swapped land parcels with the town, constructed a garage, and rebuilt the station building. The development boasts 300 residential units, a park, and a YMCA. 

Improving stations with zoning tools

TOD works closely with MTA agencies, the NYC Department of City Planning, and other public stakeholders to innovate and administer zoning tools that leverage private development into critical station access and circulation improvements.

Section cut rendering showing the concourse connecting One Vanderbilt to the subway, MNR, LIRR, and Grand Central Terminal

One Vanderbilt: Privately built accessibility upgrades and new concourse

TOD worked with city officials to create an innovative zoning tool that induced the developer to finance, construct and maintain an extensive, $200M concourse below Grand Central Terminal, expanding its footprint and significantly improving access to Metro-North, LIRR, the ​​​​​​​​ subways, and midtown Manhattan.

Rendering of the skybridge that will be constructed at a development adjacent to the Queensboro Plaza development. The skybridge will serve as a new ADA accessible station entrance.

Zoning for Accessibility: Leveraging development to improve stations

The MTA partnered with the NYC Department of City Planning and Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities to create new zoning legislation that leverages transit-proximate development to accelerate ADA-accessible station improvements. Learn more about our land use planning in the link above. 

Unlocking value in MTA assets

As our operating agencies' real estate needs change, we think creatively about the best ways to tap into the value of our transit-adjacent property assets to benefit the MTA.

Rendering of LIRR entrance in the 343 Madison Redevelopment

343 Madison: Redeveloping MTA's former HQ with a new LIRR entrance

TOD negotiated the redevelopment of MTA’s former headquarters site. The ground lease ensures private construction of a direct entrance to the LIRR Grand Central Madison concourse and generates revenue for the MTA. Construction of the entrance will begin in 2024 independent of the tower above. 

Rendering of Gun Hill Road Bus Depot that will be constructed in Baychester.

Gun Hill Bus Depot: A big step in bus electrification

As part of our commitment to sustainability, the MTA will transform its entire bus fleet to zero-emissions vehicles by 2040. TOD selected a long-unused site in The Bronx to redevelop into a battery electric bus charging facility. The core and shell will be privately built.

About Transit-Oriented Development

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is the intentional concentration of housing, businesses, and community spaces around public transit. It not only creates vibrant, walkable neighborhoods, but allows for more housing to be built in less space, increases transit ridership, reduces car traffic and pollution, improves access to jobs and recreation, and bolsters local economic activity.

New York has a long history of developing around transit. From the suburban towns that grew along streetcar and rail lines in the late 1800s to the "Terminal City" neighborhood built alongside Grand Central in the early 1900s, the region has prospered by taking advantage of the symbiotic relationship between development and transit.

Two photos of early-1900s sketches showing the tracks beneath the lots around Grand Central (left) and a perspective section of developments around Grand Central, with a cut showing the train lines below (right)

Today, MTA's TOD department builds on that legacy by connecting development with transit and tapping the value that proximity creates. The department facilitates land-use policies that encourage station improvements and more housing in the city, partners with municipalities to create transit-adjacent housing in the suburbs, and strategically utilizes our real estate to bring the most benefit to our system.