What is Transit-Oriented Development?

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is an approach to developing the built environment that integrates higher density new construction with transit, creating synergies that enhance the value of both. It is characterized by a pedestrian‐oriented environment that allows people to live, work, shop, and play within a five‐ to ten-minute walk of a transit stop.

Clusters of TODs contribute to creating transit-oriented communities, which enjoy a number of benefits:

  • Economically stable neighborhoods and reduced sprawl
  • Reduced commute times and related costs
  • Improved environmental quality through alternative transportation modes
  • Diminished automobile dependency in support of first- and last-mile connections

In addition, TOD enjoys land value premiums and generally out‐performs in competitive markets, attracting developers and their partners. Since 2005, 68 percent of all new office and 44 percent of all new housing in Metro Denver has located within one half-mile of an RTD station.


The following resources speak to RTD’s TOD work in more detail:

RTD TOD Team Property Database

RTD TOD Status Report 2021

RTD TOD Illustrated Guide 2022

Station Area Master Plans (STAMPs) for RTD stations

TOD Evaluation Guidelines 2018

TOD Design Criteria

RTD FasTracks Strategic Plan for TOD (2010)

Contact the TOD Group

For more information about working with the TOD group, email [email protected].

What's RTD's Role with TOD?

RTD's TOD mission is to help facilitate TOD opportunities that increase ridership or enhance transit investments throughout the District through station design and close coordination with local jurisdictions and developers. RTD plays a proactive role in facilitating transit-supportive development around transit stations and strives to realize the following goals:

  • Promote multi-sector, cross-jurisdictional partnerships
  • Encourage sustainable development that supports the transit system
  • Ensure a hierarchy of multi-modal access
  • Protect and enhance RTD’s transit assets

The TOD Group encourages developers to take advantage of RTD's Neighborhood EcoPass program to offer residents easy and convenient access to all RTD bus and train services at a deeply reduced rate.

Joint Development

RTD occasionally pursues joint development, a subset of TOD that involves a partnership between RTD and a public or private developer to improve agency property at an active transit facility. Joint development may involve air rights development, ground lease arrangements, sale of land, or other initiatives that promote real estate development at or near transit stations to the mutual benefit of public and private interests. Since 2010, RTD has pursued joint development at the following properties:

29th & Welton
Alameda Station
Boulder Junction Station
Denver Union Station
Olde Town Arvada Station
Sheridan Station

Learn more about joint development with RTD, including RFPs and the Unsolicited Proposal Process.

Joint Development of Real Property

Unsolicited Proposal Procedure for Joint Development

Planning Studies and Research

RTD’s TOD group manages and conducts research to support transit-oriented development, shares information with both public and private sector partners, and provides planning assistance in order to help local jurisdictions connect constituents to transit service.

Examples of our research include: