Light rail train in front of buildings


The purpose of this Transit Oriented Development (TOD) strategy is to promote the integration of land use and transportation using the investment in the regional transit system as an economic engine to create connectivity throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. It is the intent of this strategy to encourage compact and mixed use development, including the transit user and pedestrian friendly elements, along current and future light rail, commuter rail and bus transit corridors. Additionally, this strategy should be used as a catalyst toward improved air quality, focused economic development, attractiveness to the business and tourist sectors and overall enhanced healthy, sustainable communities

This TOD strategy establishes a framework in the Phoenix metropolitan region to implement TOD strategies by leveraging collaborative partnerships between the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), Valley Metro, member cities and others including the development community. It focuses on existing and future transit corridors as approved in the Regional Transportation Plan and other high demand corridors associated with activity centers within the region. It is the intent of this strategy to produce desirable results in terms of connectivity, land use, sustainable economic growth and more.

TOD Definition

TOD is a pattern of compact mixed-use development within a 5-10 minute walk of existing or future transit stations or stops. TOD is not a one size fits all formula but rather a framework which capitalizes on the strengths of existing or future land use, transportation, economic and livability elements. It encourages growth around the transit stations to produce a community environment often characterized by:

A mix of compatible and complementary land uses, scaled and designed for pedestrians, that incorporate but are not limited to jobs, housing, community services and amenities

  • Small blocks with interconnected streets and sidewalks

  • Integrated buildings and land uses that serve the pedestrian and respond to the built environment

  • Safe, convenient and comfortable elements for walking and biking

  • Connections to multiple destinations through alternate modes of transportation


Goals encouraged in this TOD strategy are intended to be met through the collaborative partnerships between MAG, Valley Metro and member cities as well as through partnerships with the business community, non-profit community and other stakeholders. Through implementation of this strategy the regional stakeholders will work to:

  • Promote a transit system that stimulates the creation of jobs and equitable housing choices and supports long term economic development and business investment

  • Provide convenient, safe connectivity and multi-modal access to the transit system, while connecting to non-motorized transportation

  • Build collaborative relationships to encourage and facilitate TOD through creative planning and development partnerships

  • Protect and enhance the regional transit assets, investments and opportunities

  • Ensure TOD is occurring and is based on market demand and principles which promote long-term sustainable development in the region

Roles and Responsibilities

As previously mentioned, this strategy is based on collaborative partnerships between multiple stakeholders. Roles and responsibilities of MAG, Valley Metro and member cities are identified in the following table:

Roles and Responsibilities MAG Valley
Local Jurisdictions
Promote and educate regional TOD Benefits and Principles L P P
Include assessment of regional TOD potential as part of system planning L P P
Include assessment of regional TOD potential as part of corridor development P L P
Acquire public land adjacent to transit for TOD   LD L
Incorporate TOD principles in land use plans and regulation     L
Incorporate and support TOD principles with regional planning goals L P P
Encourage the incorporation of TOD principles in community goals P P L
Collaborate in the development of a regional TOD plan L P P
Develop strategic plans and policies to guide each agency’s activities and roles   L L
Research and monitor regional trends for TOD P L P

Roles Legend

Symbol Definition
L Lead – lead agency has the primary responsibility for this TOD role. In some cases, there are various agencies who will lead the role within its jurisdiction. The lead agency is responsible for facilitating collaboration among the partner agencies.
P Partner – partner agency has a secondary responsibility for this TOD role. In most cases, there are multiple partners that should collaborate with and support the lead partner(s).
LD Lead by Delegation – the lead by delegation agency is only given the lead role by the local jurisdiction involved; partner agency has the primary responsibility for this TOD role.

In order to implement this strategy, MAG, Valley Metro and member cities are encouraged to develop individual Strategic TOD Action Plans. These plans may vary by community and local jurisdictions may delegate or partner with Valley Metro in their development

Each Strategic Action Plan, to the degree necessary, should detail the action items and identify the staffing requirements, funding, schedule, potential partnering organizations and their roles.