Transit Oriented Development at Selected LRT Stations in the Detroit Metropolitan Area

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Snehamay Khasnabis
    Wayne State University

Co-Principal Investigators

  • Dr. Utpal Dutta
    University of Detroit Mercy

Project Dates:

01/01/2009 to 08/31/2009

Project year: Year 1

MIOH-UTC Project Identifier: TS 23; Project 1

Focus Area:

  • Research: Intelligent Transportation Systems


The term Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is being used increasingly in the literature, particularly in studies related to planning and design of urban rail transit. TOD relates to the integration of diverse (but desirable) land uses with transit, both temporally and spatially, and is designed to increase ridership and to promote desirable land uses surrounding the station areas. Over the last decade, there has been an increased interest in North American cities in building Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems to improve their mobility needs. Based upon recent experience, LRT stations appear to be ideal sites for TOD type programs, primarily because of compatibility in their scale of operation. Currently, there are a number of transit initiatives in the Detroit metro region that, if implemented, may significantly change the transportation characteristics in the Southeast Michigan area. A number of studies are exploring the feasibility of building a LRT system along Woodward Avenue, one of the most dominant travel corridors in the Detroit Metropolitan Area.

The purpose of this study, to be conducted jointly at Wayne State University and University of Detroit Mercy, is to develop programs for transit oriented development on selected stations along the planned LRT route in the Detroit metropolitan region. Reducing the cost of transportation and congestion on our highways and creating opportunities for economic development are major challenges in our region at this time. TOD programs can contribute to these goals by reducing auto-dependence and revitalizing the local economy. A regional rail transit will present great opportunities to the community to address these critical needs. This study proposes to identify a total of two transit stations along Woodward Avenue, to develop different TOD packages for these sites, and to identify planning, economic, and institutional mechanisms for their effective implementation.

The proposed LRT system in the Detroit area will not only help alleviate mobility problems in the region; it will also present opportunities to the local planning agencies and policy makers to use transit as a vehicle for growth management and economic development. The proposed study will be of great assistance to the region in this respect.

Final Report:


Total Budget: $53,435