Integrating Transit Into Everyday Life
The development of transit-oriented communities (TOC) is integral to the growth of the Wasatch Front. As our region continues to rapidly grow, it’s imperative that our urban fabric gathers and intensifies around public transportation services.
Doing so creates possibilities for economic development while minimizing congestion, increases access to opportunities for people of all ages and abilities while reducing automobile dependency, and allows the population of Utah to continue growing while improving air and water quality along the Wasatch Front.
A transit-oriented community aims to do the following:
- Increase the availability and affordability of housing
- Includes providing affordable costs of living in connection with housing and transportation options
- Solutions include: providing for densities necessary to facilitate the development of affordable and moderate-income housing
- Promote sustainable environmental conditions
- Includes conserving water resources through efficient land use, improving air quality by reducing fuel consumption and motor vehicle trips, and establishing parks and open spaces
- Enhance access to opportunities
- Includes improving the connections between housing, employment, education, recreation, and commerce
- Solutions include: encouraging mixed-use development; enabling employment and education opportunities in proximity to transit stations
- Increase transportation choices and connections
- Includes supporting investment in infrastructure for all modes of transportation, such as transit, active modes, rideshare, etc.
UTA’s stations are much more than platforms for boarding and exiting transit. Stations are places where transportation services and infrastructure are integrated into the surrounding community, places where life may be lived by walking, biking, and public transportation. This is the Station Area and it is the focal point of all transit-oriented development (TOD).
When looking at a potential TOD site, we identify distinct components that comprise the Station Area.
The development area indicates those properties that are most likely to be developed as part of the new TOD effort. The owners of these properties will play a critical role in the Station Area planning process, helping define the highest and best use to serve their needs, whether that is residential, commercial, retail, or open space. Coordinating the development of these properties is crucial for encouraging transit integration into the surrounding neighborhoods. Land use changes and infrastructure improvements identified in the Station Area Plan will serve the development area most intensively.
The station catchment area is defined as the furthest distance a pedestrian could easily walk to the station platform in 10 minutes. That calculation will change dramatically for different user groups, such as individuals using wheelchairs or riding bicycles, but for the sake of planning the initial phases of pedestrian and bicycle pathways, this 10-minute calculation helps focus connectivity to transit platforms. Urban design guidelines established in the Station Area Plan will expand this 10-minute boundary because well-connected streets, sidewalks, and bike trails create easy connections to the station.
Potential Catchment Area
The potential catchment area identifies an ideal 10-minute walk boundary that extends equally in all directions from the station platform. In reality, each station occurs within a unique environment defined by topography, natural barriers, roadways, urban form, and a variety of other factors that can make accessing the station very difficult on foot. Understanding the gap between the defined catchment area and the potential catchment area helps prioritize infrastructure investments and identify significant landscape or built environment changes that will increase access to the station.
UTA partners with local governments, regional planning organizations, real estate developers, property owners, and the public to plan, design, and implement catalytic developments around transit stations.
In most cases, any property that UTA controls around a transit station is immediately adjacent to the station platform. UTA will work with all interested parties around the station to create a vision for new development and an implementation plan to fulfill that vision. If UTA’s property is involved, a partnership may be formed between UTA and private development interests to develop those parcels.
UTA’s TOD team seeks out opportunities to catalyze transit-oriented development within Station Areas.
We welcome inquiries and proposals from municipalities and the development community to explore partnership. All property conveyance and development partnerships are subject to a rigorous competitive process, but that does not preclude discussions about potential developments with property owners or private developers. If you have an interest in property located within a station area, please contact us.
For a comprehensive list of properties controlled by UTA, station areas, and future RFPs, please reference the map below.
We look forward to furthering the conversation about transit-oriented communities, station area planning, and development opportunities.
Director of Real Estate and Transit-Oriented Development