Transit Oriented Development TOD 

The Maryland Department of Transportation works in partnership with State, local, and private partners to support Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) throughout Maryland. The State of Maryland actively embraces TOD, as show in the 2008 legislative decision taken to define TOD as a transportation purpose. In the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code under § 7-101, TOD is defined to mean: "a dense, mixed-use deliberately-planned development within a half-mile of transit stations that is designed to increase transit ridership.” The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has actively promotes TOD as an approach to help increase transit ridership, support economic development, and maximize the efficient use of transportation infrastructure. TOD is widely known as a significant and effective land use and development strategy, but is particularly important in Maryland as a tool to help leverage transportation infrastructure investments, promote active and engaged communities, protect environmental and land resources, and support growth without adding traffic congestion

MDOT has partnered with many other state agencies to develop an interactive site, the State TOD Hub, that is a springboard for local jurisdictions, planners, elected officials, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, real estate professionals and the general public who are interested in advancing TOD or TOD principles in their jurisdictions.

MDOT also has specific resources to help coordinate with other agencies in planning, design, and investment partnerships:

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MDOT TOD Station Information and Planning Resources

Is your site transit-supportive? MDOT is here to help you identify opportunities to improve connectivity, and to plan for improvements near our station areas. Following are some key resources we have developed to help inform your TOD agenda.

The MDOT Office of Planning and Capital Programming has worked with the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) to develop:

The Maryland Transit Station Area Profile Tool is an interactive map that compiles key socio-economic, demographic, land-use and transit-access information for all of Maryland’s current and planned fixed rail stations. and

The Maryland TOD Models and Guidelines Resources (Both developed and supported by MDP).

MDOT OPCP can also help inform critical bicycle and pedestrian access components of your TOD Strategy.

MDOT may be able to provide technical assistance to identify state resources, improve connectivity, or support planning/feasibility studies for TOD.

For more information, contact Marty Baker of the MDOT Office of Planning and Capital Programming at mbaker1@mdot.maryland.gov.

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Design and Access Guidance for Maryland TOD

TOD efforts must be shaped by and designed to meet the needs of a variety of station sites. 

 For helpful input on station area design considerations see: The MDOT Maryland Transit Administration’s TOD Page.  

MDOT MTA’s Designing for Transit: TOD Design Guidelines provides design Guidelines to illustrate transit access considerations for diverse station types.

For more information on MDOT MTA’s TOD efforts contact: Zachary Chissell of the MDOT MTA Office of Planning and Programming at ZChissell@mdot.maryland.gov.

MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), has a Context Driven Access and Mobility for All Users Guide to provide guidance on roadway enhancements appropriate to station areas.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides planning and design studies for many Metro Station areas.

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Land and Joint Development Opportunities to Implement Maryland TOD

Development of MDOT-owned property adjacent to MDOT MTA rail stations is coordinated by the MDOT Office of Real Estate & Economic Development (MDOT ORED) in conjunction with the MDOT MTA Office of Real Estate. For information on MDOT’s land and development opportunities, visit:

  • MDOT Real Estate TOD
  • MDOT Interactive TOD story map provides an overview of many areas and initiatives that are actively progressing in Maryland. There is also information on which stations have been officially “designated” as TODs in Maryland and provides resources regarding opportunities in those areas, or regarding how to recommend new areas for TOD Designation.
  • MDOT ORED current land development opportunities:

For more information regarding the MDOT Real Estate Joint Development Program, please contact Nimisha Sharma at nsharma@mdot.maryland.gov.

For Information regarding opportunities connected to the WMATA Metro see:

TOD varies in scale, density, look, feel and function depending on where it is located, what types of transit service is available, and what the surrounding community context entails. However, TOD's are characterized by:

  • Density: Relatively higher density development within walking distance of transit service, with highest intensity land uses located closest to transit
  • Design: Buildings, roads, walkways, and parking are designed to encourage walking and biking for short trips
  • Diversity of Land Uses: A mixture of residential, employment, shopping and civic uses to facilitate local trip making and balanced use of transit service

  • Support the use of transportation alternatives including transit accessibility by bicycles and pedestrians
  • Increase transit ridership, thereby supporting broader transportation network efficiencies and reducing congestion
  • Promote community safety, convenience and economic development objectives
  • Augment land use and environmental conservation efforts by helping minimize air and water quality impacts
  • Enhance accessibility to jobs, housing and other destinations for all residents

Official designation of a TOD was enabled under statute in 2008. The intent of designation is to facilitate MDOT’s more direct involvement in the above activities, by clarifying that in specific project areas (which must be within a half mile of a transit station), TOD is to be considered as a transportation purpose. A TOD does not need designation

The Process of Designation is as follows:

The local jurisdiction with land use authority may nominate a project as part of their annual “priority letter” for MDOT (generally due in April/May). Staff works with local jurisdiction to define the nomination and collect background materials. Final materials are vetted with the Secretary of Transportation and the Smart Growth Sub-cabinet for recommendation.

The Secretary of Transportation conveys the outcomes of the review process, and offers official designation to local jurisdictions as appropriate. Local jurisdictions then take action to formalize the agreement (including boundaries) by official resolution. When this step is complete, the project is considered to be officially “designated.”

TOD designation does not imply that any specific funding or assistance will be automatically allocated. Needs and expectations of support from both state and local agencies should be clarified as part of the designation process.

This map, which depicts the 16 Designated TOD sites as well as potential TOD sites, is available for viewing and downloading from MD iMap