Providing Public Transportation
Alternatives for the Greater
Phoenix Metro Area

Transit-Oriented Development


Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) is a pattern of development characterized by a mix of uses surrounding a transit station where streets have a high level of connectivity, blocks are small, and buildings and uses cater to pedestrians.

The purpose is to make access to and from the transit station walkable and accessible in an environment that is human-scaled and provides for a mix of compatible and complementary land uses which facilitate transit ridership.

The cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa have taken action to encourage development near the light rail alignment. More than $10.1 billion in private and public capital investment has been built near the initial 26-miles of light rail. See details in Valley Metro Rail—Economic Growth Along the Line. Another $807 million in commercial and residential building is being planned, most of that from private developers.


Street scene with light rail tracks

  • Walkable, tree-lined streets (shade)
  • Buildings built up to the street
  • Buildings with frequent windows and doors
  • Diverse, complementary uses that encourage people to stroll, shop, meet, greet and eat
  • A variety of compact housing in an assortment of styles
  • Strategic parking strategies (Reduced parking, shared parking, more land for development)


  • Revitalizes declining neighborhoods and urban centers
  • Improved accessibility to jobs
  • Generates sales tax revenues
  • Provides affordable housing near a readily available source of transportation, creating a high-level of mobility for households on limited incomes
  • Creates opportunities for public/private partnerships
  • Increases values of nearby properties
  • Improves foot traffic for retailers
  • Decreases transportation costs for residents and workers
  • Decreases employee travel costs
  • Allows access to a more diverse workforce
  • Encourages transit use due to escalating gasoline and fuel costs
Additional TOD Resources

Station Profiles

In order to encourage transit-oriented development around our light rail stations, Valley Metro has developed a set of TOD station profile sheets. Each profile sheet provides a basic overview of the light rail station, demographics within one-half mile and the type of transit service/amenities provided. Each sheet also includes ridership statistics, major nearby activity centers and possible TOD sites. This information is provided to help developers and interested parties in determining the best sites for future TOD.

Agency Role

Vision: Support its member cities in attaining their community and economic development goals and initiatives by serving primarily as a resource, a support function and community educator. By assisting in promoting high quality, more intensive development on and near properties adjacent to the light rail, Valley Metro can increase ridership and support long-term system capacity. Also, such development creates attractive investment opportunities for the private sector and stimulates additional development.

Mission: Assist Valley Metro Rail member cities in developing the policy framework and implementation strategies necessary to successfully build community support for TOD projects that: (1) improve access to public transportation, (2) make communities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, (3) and create new living spaces that better serve the daily activities of the region by interfacing with a more diversified set of mobility options.

Goals and Objectives:
• Support community focused development
• Increase availability of public transportation
• Establish TOD principles in the planning and development process

View Full TOD Strategy


  • Valley Metro
    Joshua Matthews
    Planner II
    101 N. 1st Ave., Suite 1300
    Phoenix, AZ 85003
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • City of Phoenix
    Craig Mavis
    Planner III
    200 W. Washington Street, 3rd Floor
    Phoenix, AZ 85003
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • City of Tempe
    Bonnie Richardson
    Principal Planner
    21 E. 6th St., Suite 208
    Tempe, AZ 85281
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  • City of Mesa
    Shea Joachim
    Senior Project Manager - Strategic Initiatives
    20 E. Main Street, Suite 200
    Mesa, AZ 85201
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)